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Directors of Indian restaurants banned in UK

The directors ran 11 restaurants and employed, in all, 41 illegal workers, for which they were fined £505,000 by the Home Office.

world Updated: Nov 24, 2017 23:58 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, London
Indian-origin restaurant directors in UK,UK Insolvency Service,UK Home Office
Rotis and Butter chicken.(HT Photo/Represntative image)

Several Indian-origin directors of restaurants are among 20 directors who have received lengthy bans from Britain’s Insolvency Service for employing individuals who did not have the right to work.

The directors, who had already been fined for employing these persons, were running restaurants such as Indian Fusion, Jaipur Restaurant, Cardamom Bay, K2 Taj, Café India, Jhalmuri and The 3 Mughals.

The directors ran 11 restaurants and employed, in all, 41 illegal workers, for which they were fined £505,000 by the Home Office.

Britain’s Indian restaurant industry has been facing a severe shortage of chefs, since rules introduced by the Conservative government imposed a high salary threshold to recruit chefs from India and other non-EU countries, prompting some to employ illegal workers.

The Insolvency Service said on Friday that the 11 restaurants were based in London (four), Sussex (three), North West (three) South Wales (two), Glasgow, Antrim, Frome and High Wycombe. The fines of between £10,000 and £15,000 per worker remained unpaid, it added.

A disqualification order has the effect that, without specific permission of a court, a person with a disqualification cannot act as a director of a company, take part, directly or indirectly, in the promotion, formation or management of a company or limited liability partnership, and be a receiver of a company’s property.

Cheryl Lambert, chief investigator at the Insolvency Service, said: “These directors sought an unfair advantage over their law abiding competitors by employing people who were not entitled to work legally in the UK.

“By definition this is a set of people who are without the protection of the law and knowledge of the authorities, and thereby extremely vulnerable to exploitation in all its forms. It is bad for business and bad for society as a whole.”

A Home Office spokesperson added: “Illegal working is not victimless. It undercuts honest employers, cheats legitimate job seekers out of employment opportunities and defrauds the taxpayer.

“Businesses should be aware that they have a duty to check that their staff have permission to work in the UK.”

First Published: Nov 24, 2017 23:57 IST