7-year ban on Indian restaurant owner for hiring illegal workers in UK

London, Feb 21 (IANS) The owner of an Indian restaurant and takeaway in the UK has been banned as a company director until 2031 for hiring three illegal workers from Bangladesh without conducting right-to-work checks.

Ikbal Hussain, 51, hired the workers, all in their forties, at the Taste of Raj on High Street, Hertfordshire, before the restaurant was raided by immigration enforcement officials in March 2020.

A resident of Enfield, Hussain was the sole director of the restaurant, trading under the company name of Tender Love Ltd, since June 2014.

The workers told investigators they had worked at the restaurant for between four days and up to two months.

Hussain not only employed them without conducting right-to-work checks but also failed to keep the required documentation proving they were eligible to work in the UK, a Home Office statement said on Tuesday.

“Ikbal Hussain’s failure to ensure the required checks were carried out resulted in the employment of three illegal workers, in contravention of the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006,” Kevin Read, Chief Investigator at the Insolvency Service, said.

Calling this a serious breach of legislation, Read added that Hussain cannot be involved in the promotion, formation or management of a company in the UK as a result of the ban, which came into effect on February 16.

Suran Padiachie from Home Office Immigration Enforcement said illegal working cheats honest workers out of employment, puts vulnerable people at risk, and defrauds the public purse.

“We’re clamping down on illegal working by ramping up enforcement activity and tripling fines for rogue employers. We will continue to work with partners, including the Insolvency Service to tackle illegal migration in all its forms,” Padiachie added.

The Secretary of State for Business and Trade accepted a disqualification undertaking from Hussain.

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