Scottish businesses risking UK immigration fines

08 Aug 2011 | Posted by Carl Thomas

Scottish businesses are risking fines by employing immigrants who do not have the correct UK visa documentation to work in Britain.

This is according to new statistics obtained by the Evening News, which revealed that over half of the illegal immigrants found in homes and businesses around Edinburgh over the past four years were found working in the area.

Details of 400 cases were obtained, showing that the majority of of those detained were from Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and China. Of these individuals, 261 were found to be working in restaurants, shops and hotels, despite their lack of UK visas.

Former city councillor Shami Khan, who is also chairman of the Pakistan Society, told the Scotsman: "The majority of these people who come from Pakistan have contacts here, either friends or relatives. That's why they choose to come to Scotland."

She added: "There are employers who will pay £2 or £3 an hour to illegal workers in restaurants, shops and hotels in Edinburgh."

However, while businesses may feel they are saving money initially, there are substantial fines associated with employing illegal immigrants. If firms are unable to prove that they conducted the required right-to-work checks before employing the individual, they can be issued with fines of up to £10,000 for each worker.