Welsh restaurant could be fined for workers' UK work permit problems

13 Feb 2014 | Posted by Carl Thomas

A Welsh restaurant in the town of Port Talbot is looking at significant fines for employing workers without the required UK work permits.

Immigration officials received intelligence prompting them to investigated Shah Tandoori restaurant on Station Road. The officers visited the establishment last weekend (Sunday, 9 February) to ask staff about their rights to live and work in the UK.

They discovered two men from Bangladesh who had overstayed their UK visas and a third Bangladeshi who had entered the country illegally. The three individuals were all arrested and are being detained ahead of their removal from the UK.

Home Office representative Richard Johnson commented: "Illegal working has a negative impact on communities. It defrauds the taxpayer, undercuts honest employers and cheats legitimate job seekers out of employment opportunities."

He added: "The message to employers in Wales who choose to use illegal labour is clear. We will catch you and you will face a heavy penalty."

Indeed, the Shah Tandoori could be issued with a potential fine of £30,000 - £10,000 for each illegal worker – if it is unable to prove that the correct right-to-work checks were carried out before the individuals were employed. This could be as simple as asking to see a Home Office document or passport.

Earlier this month, immigration minister Mark Harper resigned from his post after it was discovered that his cleaner had been working illegally in the UK. He stepped down from his position, despite having complied with the law, claiming that he holds himself to "a higher standard" than is expected of others.