Manager of Indian restaurant in UK banned for hiring illegal workers

PTI, Feb 22, 2024, 9:24 AM IST

Image Source: NDTV

London: A manager of an Indian restaurant and takeaway in eastern England has been handed a seven-year ban as a company director after employing three illegal workers from Bangladesh.

Ikbal Hussain, 51, hired the workers at the Taste of Raj in the Stanstead Abbotts area of Hertfordshire before the restaurant was raided by Immigration Enforcement officials in 2020.

The UK’s Insolvency Service said on Tuesday that Hussain has been banned from running a business until 2031 after it conducted further investigations.

“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,” said Kevin Read, Chief Investigator at the Insolvency Service.

“This represents a serious breach of legislation and of the standards expected of company directors. As a result of this breach, he cannot be involved in the promotion, formation or management of a company in the UK for the next seven years,” he said.

Hussain was the sole director of the restaurant, trading under the company name of Tender Love Ltd since June 2014. In the UK, restaurants serving cuisine associated with countries in the Indian subcontinent, including Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal, are often referred to as Indian restaurants.

Immigration Enforcement officers carried out an operation at the premises of Taste of Raj Indian restaurant in Hertfordshire in March 2020, finding three men with no right to work in the UK. The three workers, originally from Bangladesh and aged in their 40s, told investigators they had worked at the restaurant for between four days and up to two months.

Hussain had employed them without conducting right-to-work checks and also failed to keep the required documentation proving they were eligible to work in the UK, the officers noted.

“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,” said Suran Padiachie, Home Office Immigration Enforcement.

The Secretary of State for Business and Trade, Kemi Badenoch, accepted a disqualification undertaking from Hussain which means his seven-year ban began last week. It imposes several restrictions on his business activities and prevents him from becoming involved in the promotion, formation or management of a company without the permission of the court.

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