Bosses fined for hiring illegal staff

Two Wigan businesses have been fined thousands of pounds after a Home Office raid revealed illegal employees on their books.

Tuesday, 2nd October 2018, 10:13 am
Updated Tuesday, 2nd October 2018, 11:47 am
MA Foods has been in trouble before for hiring illegal workers

Former Indian restaurant “Taste of Bengal” on High Street in Standish was fined £15,000 for hiring staff who did not have permission to work in the UK.

The restaurant received a visit from 10 November 2017 and a £15,000 financial penalty was issued on 20 December 2017 as the owner was found to have employed one illegal worker.

MA Foods on Atherton Road in Hindley was also fined £15,000 following a visit from back in November 2016. The penalty for employing one illegal worker has still not been paid,

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Gajanan Navaratnarajah, who is liable to pay the fine for MA Foods, as well as the London-based owners of TOB Wigan Ltd, were both served with a civil penalty at the beginning of the year for not complying with illegal working legislation.

Both businesses have now been reprimanded for failing to pay the original fine within 28 days or for being caught hiring more illegal employees following the initial notice.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “Employers should remember to carry out simple ‘right to work’ checks before they employ staff. It is vital that businesses comply with the law, otherwise they leave themselves open to a heavy financial penalty.

“Illegal working undercuts honest employers, cheats legitimate job seekers out of employment opportunities and defrauds the public purse.”

Twelve months ago, the Hindley convenience store was fined £15,000 following the Home Office raid but has not yet been paid.

At that point, the store was owned by Paramanantham Ratnasingam but was then taken over by Mr Navaratnarajah.

The Taste of Bengal has shut its doors since receiving its penalty notice and a new restaurant “Ajmeer Manzil” has opened in its place.

The restaurant closed suddenly earlier this year and since then a new eatery under entirely new management has opened at the site.

In June, Companies House published a striking off notice for TOB Wigan Ltd which read: “Unless cause is shown to the contrary, at the expiration of two months from the above date Wigan TOB Ltd will be struck off the register and the company will be dissolved.”

This action has since been discontinued.