Disqualification of directors for hiring illegal workers

Satinder Kumar was the sole director of a cooked-foods wholesaler in Birmingham, UK, from May 16, 2013, to November 21, 2014, at which point the company went into liquidation. The Insolvency Service (working with the Home Office) subsequently investigated Satinder Kumar’s company. It found, on two separate occasions, that during his period of directorship, Satinder Kumar was employing two workers who were not eligible to work in the UK. As a result, Satinder Kumar is disqualified from acting as a director for seven years, until 2023.

This decision follows a similar case in which a director of a fast food takeaway in Manchester employed three illegal workers. In this case, the director is disqualified for six years.

These cases are stark reminders that employers must ensure that their companies comply with their statutory obligations under the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006, which makes employers responsible for preventing illegal working in the UK.

To comply with their obligations, employers should check documents (and be able to prove documents have been checked) that verify their workers’ eligibility to work in the UK. This is of particular importance since the government’s announcement that, from April 2017, it will deny employers the national insurance employment allowance for one year if they employ illegal workers and receive a civil penalty as a result.

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Verity Buckingham

About Verity Buckingham

Verity is experienced in all aspects of employment law and corporate immigration matters.She deals mostly with corporate clients advising on contentious and non-contentious employment matters. Verity's contentious practice includes defending claims in the Employment Tribunal and experience of Employment Appeal Tribunal litigation in relation to claims of unfair dismissal, discrimination, equal pay and whistleblowing. She also advises individuals at a senior level on negotiating exits.

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