23 August 2012 #Immigration
On 21st July 2012, the UK Border Agency identified a number of students working illegally in a Tesco warehouse. The students now face being removed from the UK.
Overseas nationals who come to the UK on a student visa are permitted to work for up to 20 hours a week during term time. The number of hours the students are allowed to work depends on the level of course which the student has come to undertake and the type of institution at which the student
is studying with.
The students found working in the Tesco warehouse were allowed to work in the UK lawfully for up to 20 hours a week. However, the UK Border Agency established that these students were working between 50 and 70 hours a week. The additional hours worked breached their student visa conditions and as such the work was classified as unlawful. Tesco has been issued with a civil penalty notice in relation to employing 20 students which could result in a fine of up to £10,000 per student, i.e. £200,000. The UK Border Agency will be looking to cancel the students’ visas and removing them from the UK. The students could also face a ban on re-entering the UK for up to 10 years.
Although Tesco had a comprehensive system of checking in place which is audited externally, 20 illegal workers were found in just one warehouse. This demonstrates that employers cannot be passive in relation to monitoring the hours worked by students.