UK work permit crackdown to continue

13 Jan 2011 | Posted by Carl Thomas

Employers have been advised to check their workers' UK work permits and passports as the UK Border Agency (UKBA) confirmed plans to continue tackling illegal workers in the New Year.

Karyn Dunning, head of the UKBA local immigration team for Kent, said that "more raids are definitely planned 2011".

She referenced a number of successful operations that took place in 2010. Indeed, four businesses were given Civil Penalty Notices last year, with fines totalling £25,000.

A maximum fine of £10,000 can be imposed on companies who fail to check the UK work permits or passports of their employees.

However, the largest fine handed out in the region last year was issued to Masala The Indian Restaurant. The establishment was fined £10,000 for employing two illegal workers on its premises.

Ms Dunning commented: "We've had a lot of success targeting firms who employ illegal workers in the Tunbridge Wells area during 2010, but we are gathering intelligence all the time, and more raids are definitely planned for 2011."

Damian Green, the immigration minister, added that officials are making more use of new technology both at the border and inland to enable officers to "focus their efforts on people trying to cheat the system".

Earlier this week, the UKBA caught three workers at a restaurant in Nottingham who were employed without the correct UK work permits.