Businesses lose £230,000 this year for hiring illegal workers

Around 25 businesses in the county fined

17 December 2009
: Employing illegal workers is costing dear to the business establishments. So far this year, such organizations had to pay approximately £230,000 as fine.

Inspector Colin Daulby of the Local Immigration Team Norfolk said: ‘This year alone, we’ve issued fines worth approximately £230,000 to more than 25 businesses in the county.

‘There are strict rules about which foreign nationals can get a job in the UK and businesses have a clear responsibility to carry out the right checks.’

The assertion came soon after action against a Thetford restaurant. It is facing a substantial fine after being caught employing two illegal workers as part of a county-wide clampdown by the UK Border Agency.

Officers conducted an intelligence-led visit to Nimmi Authentic Indian Cuisine in White Hart Street on 16 December 2009.

Immigration checks revealed two members of staff had no permission to work in the UK.
Arrangements are now being made for both the Bangladeshi men to be removed from the UK as soon as possible.

The operation coincided with a large-scale advertising campaign warning bosses of the heavy fines they face, if caught employing illegal foreign labour.

Nimmi Authentic Indian Cuisine faces a potential fine of up to £20,000 – £10,000 per employee unless it can prove that the correct pre-employment checks were carried out.

Inspector Daulby added: `These arrests are part of an ongoing clampdown on illegal working in Norfolk to reduce the attractiveness of the UK to illegal immigrants. Anyone in the county who takes on a foreign national without permission to work in the UK is breaking the law, undermining law abiding businesses and faces a big fine’.

A tough new civil penalty system was brought in last year to provide a fast and effective way of tackling bosses who fail to carry out proper checks on workers from outside Europe. A fine of up to £10,000 per worker can be imposed for every illegal worker found at a business.

Guidance for employers on preventing illegal working can be found on the UK Border Agency website, or by calling the UK Border Agency Employers Helpline on 0845 010 6677.

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