Sunderland takeaway risks fine for illegal worker

17 Sep 2014 | Posted by Carl Thomas

A takeaway in Sunderland could be issued with a fine of up to £20,000 for employing a worker who had overstayed his UK visa.

King's Flavour was visited by officers from the Home Office UK Immigration Enforcement Team who had received intelligence that suggested that illegal migrants may have been employed by the establishment, the Sunderland Echo reported.

After questioning staff they found a 26-year-old Indian man whose immigration status was in doubt. He was later arrested on suspicion of overstaying his UK visa and is being detained ahead of his removal from the country.

The business, meanwhile, has been served with a notice warning that they could be issued with a civil penalty fine of as much as £20,000 if they are unable to prove that they carried out the required checks on the man before hiring him. These checks can be as simple as asking to see his passport or Home Office documentation.

The incident is not the first time that illegal workers have been found in the area. Last month the Sunderland Echo reported that three men were found to be working illegally in another takeaway in nearby Southwick.

At the time, deputy director Anita Bailey from the enforcement team commented: "Employers in Sunderland who use illegal labour will be caught and will face financial penalties.

"Illegal working is not victim-less. It defrauds the taxpayer, undercuts honest employers and cheats legitimate job seekers out of employment opportunities."

The Home Office tends not to comment on individual cases, but the rest of her statement echoed the ongoing message from the Government: "We are happy to work with businesses to let them know what checks need to be made on staff, but those who break the law should know that they will face the consequences.

"I would urge people with specific and detailed information about suspected illegal working to contact us."