Legal Alert – Hiring Employees Who Are Staying Illegally in Finland
Following the implementation of the Employer Sanction Directive (2009/52/EC), employers and certain contracting parties have had a joint liability in relation to hiring Non-Member State nationals who do not fulfil the relevant residency requirements. The aim was to counteract illegal immigration and to strengthen measures against illegal employment.
The matter has become a topical issue due to the significant recent increase in business immigration. Since the implementation of the new rules in August 2012, we have received several questions relating to the new rules and their wider impact on the labour markets.
The employers’ obligation to ensure that third-country nationals have a valid residency permit in Finland cannot be overemphasised after the implementation of these new sanctions. As a reminder, employers who employ a third-country national who is staying illegally in Finland are obliged to pay EUR 1,00030,000 to the state as a penalty. In addition, an employer may be required to compensate the costs resulting from the process of returning this employee to his/her home country if the employer has, by its own actions, aided his/her entry to or stay in Finland.
It should also be noted that if the employer is a sub-contractor, its main contractor has a joint liability for the above-mentioned costs. In addition, the main contractor has also a joint liability for any outstanding remuneration of the employee. This joint liability should be taken into account when concluding agreements with sub-contractors.