One of London’s top curry houses, Tayyabs, has re-opened following a 48 hour shutdown by immigration enforcement officers for allegedly employing illegal workers. Family owned Punjabi restaurant Tayyabs closed on Tuesday following an immigration raid which found some of its 40 employees did not have the correct permission to work in the UK.
The restaurant has a history of non-compliance with immigration laws, with civil penalties of £95,000 outstanding. Following its recent raid, Immigration Officers issued the restaurant with an Illegal Working Closure Notice – powers introduced by the Immigration Act 2016. The government continues to use the Immigration Act to strengthen its response to ‘rogue’ employers of illegal workers – those who fail to carry out right to work checks in accordance to government guidelines are also penalised.
In this case, Tayyabs owner, Aleem Tayyab told the Evening Standard that immigration checks were carried out by a third party – oversights on their part led to the shutdown. The restaurant was only allowed to open after a hearing at the magistrate’s court. It appears that the latest notice served on Tayyabs after the raid carries a fine of up to £180,000; this will now need to be addressed.
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.
Clarkslegal's business immigration lawyers regularly provide comprehensive training to HR teams and know how seminars to help HR staff understand the importance of carrying out correct checks. For further information, please contact our business immigration team on 020 7539 8000.