Problems with the UK visas of two employees could leave a tattoo parlour in London facing hefty fines.
The parlour, located in Shepherd's Bush, could have to fork out up to £20,000 after UK immigration officers discovered illegal workers on the premises. The individuals were both Brazilian men, aged 33 and 36 and were found to be working at the Forevermore studio earlier this month (August 23rd).
UK Border Agency (UKBA) officers received intelligence regarding the tattoo business and visited the studio specifically to check if the staff there had the right to work in the country. It was revealed that the two Brazilians did not, having overstayed their UK visas.
They have since been detained pending their removal from the country, but there could be further difficulties for the business itself if it is unable to prove that it conducted the required right-to-work checks before taking on the individuals.
Harpal Johal, assistant director at the UKBA, commented on the case: “We're carrying out operations like this almost every day in London, and where we find people who are in the UK illegally we will seek to remove them.
"Employers who take on illegal workers are both fuelling illegal immigration and damaging the UK economy. Those who fail to carry out the legally-required checks on staff should know that we are out there looking for them and they will face heavy fines."
The investigation also saw a 34-year-old Brazilian man and a 31-year-old Brazilian woman arrested. They were discovered in the residential premises above the tattoo parlour and were both in the country illegally having also overstayed their UK visa.
The required checks for businesses are simple and can be as quick as simply asking to see a potential employee's passport or UK work permit. It is always worth ensuring your employees are legal as the fines for failing to do so are substantial and can affect any type of business.