Countrywide Crackdown Continues: 20 Directors Of 16 Companies Disqualified For Employing Illegal Workers

The directors of restaurants in Antrim, Glasgow, Bognor Regis and Newport, South Wales are amongst the latest company directors to receive lengthy bans for employing illegal workers.

A press release from the Insolvency Service reveals that, in all, 20 directors in 16 separate businesses across the UK have been disqualified, all of whom were already fined for employing illegal workers. Eighteen people have been banned from being company directors or being involved in the management of companies for six years each, whilst two have been disqualified for 7 years.

Between them, they employed 41 illegal workers and were fined a total of £505,000 by the Home Office, none of which was paid. Two of the companies have now entered into liquidation, with a further two having been dissolved.

The matters leading to all of the disqualifications are that the directors failed to ensure that the companies complied with statutory obligations under The Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 and Immigration Act 2016 to ensure that relevant immigration checks were completed and copy documents retained, resulting in the employment of illegal workers.

Following visits from Home Office Immigration, during which the breaches were discovered, the companies were issued with penalty notices ranging from £10,000 to £15,000 per worker. All of the penalty notices remain unpaid.

This is a timely reminder for all companies (and their directors and HR officers) of their obligations:

An immigration officer visiting your businesses may request documents evidencing each employee's right to undertake the work for which they are employed.

If the immigration officer believes that an employee has been working without the appropriate permission, they may issue a Referral Notice. This may, amongst other things, lead to a Civil Penalty Notice, including a fine. The starting point for the calculation of the civil penalty is £15,000 per illegal worker employed.

An employer may object to the Civil Penalty Notice if it has established a statutory excuse. This includes if you have correctly carried out the prescribed right to work checks using acceptable documents before employment commences...

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