An award winning Indian restaurant in Wales has re-opened after being temporarily closed down by immigration officers. Yasmin’s, which has won various curry awards over the years, was shut down last week following an immigration raid which found the owners had failed to carry out the prescribed right to work checks.
Last week, Immigration Enforcement reported that they found two individuals working at the premises who had no right to work in the UK. Wales Online reports that the restaurant has a history of non-compliance and has in the past been issued with civil penalties totalling £88,750 - £71,000 of which remains unpaid.
In this case, immigration officers exercised the extensive powers given to them by the Immigration Act 2016, specifically illegal working closure notices and compliance orders. Illegal Working Closure Notices prohibit access to business premises for up to 48 hours. During this time, an application can be made to a magistrate’s court for an Illegal Working Compliance Order which can impose further restrictions on the business. This can include extended closure for up to 12 months initially, extendable for up to two years.
Yasmin’s is not the first restaurant to be closed by Immigration Enforcement; this month we also reported that Tayyab’s, another award-winning restaurant was penalised by the Home Office. In this case, the owners had outsourced their compliance checks to a third party – following the closure, the owners vowed to change their current procedures and carry out the compliance checks in house.
While Yasmin’s continues to trade, a compliance order against the restaurant remains in place until 21 September 2018.
It is vital that those who are responsible for carrying out right to checks familiarise themselves with the Home Office’s right to work guidance to ensure that checks are being carried out correctly. Regardless of whether checks are outsourced to third parties, liability remains with the employer.
Employers found to be employing a person who is not allowed to work in the UK can be fined up to £20,000 for each illegal worker. It is therefore wise to go above and beyond to ensure your workforce have the correct permission to work for you.