Curry Houses Claim They Are Victims Of Unfair Home Office Raids

Immigration Law Book

British curry houses are a well-loved institution.  But last week, owners reported to The Guardian that they are being unfairly targeted in Immigration raids conducted by the Home Office, designed to apprehend illegal workers.

The industry’s largest trade body, the Bangladesh Caterers Association (BCA) has written to Immigration minister Brandon Lewis to discuss the impact of tough new Immigration laws and what restaurant owners say is an increase in Immigration raids.

Curry houses employ around 100,000 people throughout the UK.  Owners have told immigration solicitors that they are struggling to recruit the best talent because young people are increasingly unwilling to join family businesses.  This is compounded by the shortage of skilled chefs throughout the country.

The Guardian cited one high-profile recent raid which saw acclaimed east London restaurant Tayyabs closed temporarily, and six arrests made. Customers arriving at the Whitechapel institution known for its long queues found an “illegal working closure notice”, stating that paid and voluntary work of any kind was prohibited at the premises.

Immigration officers visited Tayyabs at the end of August, “acting on intelligence”, according to the Home Office. They arrested six Pakistani nationals, five of whom were detained prior to removal from the UK.

Arrests and heavy fines have affected curry restaurants as far apart as Kent and North Yorkshire so far this year, and a business in Twickenham has been permanently shut down.

How businesses can protect themselves from Home Office raids

UK Sponsor Licence holders can benefit from receiving legal advice from the best immigration lawyersSponsor Licence holders must comply with strict responsibilities and duties set out in the Sponsor Guidance document.  Failure to meet compliance could result in the Sponsor Licence being downgraded, suspended, or revoked.

London’s best immigration lawyers, including OTS Solicitors, can manage the Tier 2 and 5 Sponsor Licence application process from start to finish for HR directors and employers.  This includes ensuring processes and procedures are in place to prevent illegal workers.

Mock audits can also be conducted by immigration solicitors who can check HR systems are compliant with Home Office regulations.  As a consequence, any ‘surprise’ visits’ from the Home Office can be confidently managed by all staff.

Obtaining a UK Sponsor Licence, issuing Certificates of Sponsorship, running a sResident Labour Market Test and complying fully with the duties and responsibilities set out in the Sponsor Guidance does not need to be daunting.  With the help of an experienced Immigration solicitor, your organisation can be free to hire the best talent from anywhere in the world.

OTS Solicitors is regarded as one of the best immigration law firms in the UK.  If you need advice on any Immigration law matters, please phone our office on 0203 959 9123 to talk to one of our dedicated immigration lawyers


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