Legislation to publicly disclose the names of employers found hiring illegal migrant workers must be proportional, according to Croner.

The HR specialist has welcomed the government’s move to publish details of those taking on illegal workers on the UK Border Agency website, insisting it supports any efforts to deter employers from adopting unlawful working practices.

However, it warns that procedures must be put in place to guarantee proportionality, with efforts being focused on employers who knowingly appoint illegal workers and exceptions being made for those who make legitimate mistakes.

And it says the legislation should be adequately advertised so that employers are aware of its introduction and can take steps to comply with it.

Joanne Pitts, employment consultant with Croner, said: "It’s important that these moves do not come down too hard on businesses that on one occasion unknowingly employed an illegal migrant worker."

The information published about each employer will include the name of the business, the number of illegal workers found, the size of the penalty levied under the government’s civil penalties scheme and whether the penalty has been paid.