The UK Border Agency will not tolerate illegal working and “will take firm action against those who ignore the rules,” Jill Smith, head of the UK Border Agency's south London enforcement team has said.
He made the warning after a Lewisham restaurant received a civil penalty of £15,000 for employing three illegal workers.
Officers raided Everest King Curry, Loampit Hill, on 25th November 2011 and arrested three members of staff from Sri Lanka.
Immigration checks revealed that the men, aged 33, 43 and 52, had stayed in the UK illegally after their asylum claims had been rejected.
Everest King Curry was issued with a potential fine notice for employing illegal workers and given an opportunity to prove that the correct right-to-work checks were made before the men were taken on.
They failed to do so and have been handed a fine of £15,000.
“Employers are responsible for carrying out document checks and we work with businesses to let them know what they need to do,” Mr. Smith said. “Illegal working has damaging social and economic consequences for the UK. It undercuts businesses that operate within the law, undermines British workers and exploits migrant workers.”
The 52-year-old and 33-year-old restaurant workers were removed from the UK in December 2011 and January 2012 respectively. The 43-year-old has permission to reside temporarily in the UK, but is barred from taking up employment and is required to regularly report to the UK Border Agency. Once his leave to remain ends he will face removal action if he fails to depart voluntarily.