Restaurant fined £5k for employing an illegal worker

PUBLISHED: 14:22 01 December 2008 | UPDATED: 22:41 15 June 2010

AN Indian restaurant in Axminster has been fined £5,000 for employing an illegal migrant worker.

AN Indian restaurant in Axminster has been fined £5,000 for employing an illegal migrant worker.The UK Border Agency said immigration officers visited Cinnamon, in South Street, in April this year after receiving intelligence of an illegal worker. As the team entered the business, a man wearing chef's whites attempted to flee but was caught by officers. Checks showed the 34-year old man from Bangladesh had overstayed his visa and did not have the legal right to live and work in the UK.Cinnamon was warned that unless they could provide the Agency with evidence that proper right-to-work checks had been carried out before employing the man, they would face a substantial fine.Employer Ajaya Kumar failed to provide any evidence and has been hit with a civil penalty fine for giving the illegal worker a job.Jane Farleigh, regional director of the UK Border Agency in Wales and the South West, said: "Employers are responsible for making sure their workers from outside Europe have the legal right to work here."I would urge businesses to make sure they take the correct action to check their employees' immigration status. "The use of illegal workers presents a serious risk to legitimate competition and is unfair on honest employers who pay their staff a proper salary."Cinnamons has now been named on the UK Border Agency website. From June this year, the Agency has published monthly the details of employers who have been found liable for a civil penalty for employing illegal migrant workers or who have been convicted of a criminal offence. The civil penalty system was introduced by the Government in February and provides a swift and effective means of tackling those who make inadequate checks on their workers from outside Europe. The system is designed to encourage employers to comply with their legal obligations, without criminalising those who are less than diligent in their recruitment and employment practices. A penalty of up to £10,000 can be handed out for each illegal worker found at a business. Employers unsure of the steps they need to take to avoid employing illegal workers can visit www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/employers/.

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