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Takeaway director disqualified for 6 years after employing illegal workers

Masum Ahmed, director of India Gate restaurant, Chichester, has been disqualified for six years for failing to comply with immigration law by employing illegal workers. India Gate was the trading name of Chi Spice Limited.

On 6 July, the Secretary of State accepted a disqualification undertaking from Mr Ahmed. This was effective from 27 July 2017 for six years. The disqualification prevents Mr Ahmed from directly or indirectly becoming involved in the promotion, formation or management of a limited company until July 2023.

What were the grounds for disqualification?

Mr Ahmed's disqualification for employing illegal workers follows an investigation by the Insolvency Service. The investigation found he had failed to comply with statutory obligations under immigration law; specifically that he failed to ensure relevant immigration checks were completed and documents retained. This resulted in the employment of an illegal worker and consequently in a penalty notice of £15,000 being issued by the Home Office.

Chi Spice Limited was placed into Liquidation on 18 August 2016. It had an estimated deficiency to creditors in excess of £55,000.

Robert Clarke, Senior Investigator, said:

"The Insolvency Service rigorously pursues directors who fail to pay fines imposed by the government for breaking employment and immigration laws. We have worked closely in this case with our colleagues at the Home Office to achieve this disqualification. The director sought an unfair advantage over his competitors by employing individuals who did not have the right to work in the UK in breach of his duties as a director. The public has a right to expect that those who break the law will face the consequences. Running a limited company, means you have statutory protections as well as obligations. If you fail to comply with your obligations then the Insolvency Service will investigate you."

A Home Office spokesperson said:

"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. We are happy to work with employers who play by the rules but those who do not, should know that they will not go under our radar."

The above article is adapted from a press release from The Insolvency Service. Published 8 August 2017.

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