The penalty comes after immigration officers visited the factory on December 20 to find nine Pakistani workers, two Indian men, three Indian women and two Bangladeshi workers in UK visa offences. The officers were acting on intelligence and questioned Shipleys’ workers to check if they had the right to be in the UK.
The offenders were between 21 and 57 years of age. While 13 workers were found to have overstayed their visas, one Pakistani employee was working in breach of his visa conditions, while another Pakistani man was found to be a failed asylum seeker.
Eight of the offenders have been transferred to immigration detention pending removal from the country. The remaining eight must report regularly to UK Visas & Immigration pending removal from the country.
The business was served a notice warning that a civil penalty of up to £10,000 per illegal worker found will be imposed unless proof is provided that the correct right-to-work checks were carried out. This is a potential total of up to £160,000, according to the UK Border Control.
“Businesses in Berkshire which follow the rules have nothing to fear, but those who either deliberately employ people with no right to work or fail to carry out the legally required checks on their staff should expect to face heavy financial penalties,” said Paul Smith, from the Thames Valley and Surrey immigration enforcement team.
“Illegal working has a negative impact on communities. It defrauds the taxpayer, undercuts honest employers and cheats legitimate job seekers out of employment opportunities,” Smith added.
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