Four Wigan businesses caught red-handed hiring illegal workers last year have been hit with fines totalling £85,000.
A report released by the Home Office reveals the quartet of local employers who were fined between July 1 and September 30 last year and who had not coughed up the penalty fee within the given time or who were served another penalty notice after the first.
Kakuli’s Kitchen on Warrington Road, Ince, Billinge Supper Bar on Main Street, 100 Menu on Wallgate in the town centre and Sam’s Barber Shop on Wigan Lane have all been named on the quarterly list.
A Home Office spokesperson said: “Those who use and exploit illegal workers face severe financial penalties.
“We are happy to work with businesses to ensure the right pre-employment checks are carried out, but those intent on operating outside the law will be found and will be punished.
“Using illegal labour is not victimless. It cheats the taxpayer, undercuts honest businesses and cheats legitimate job seekers of employment opportunities.”
Two of the businesses have since ceased trading.
Former Indian takeaway, Kakuli’s Kitchen, was fined £10,000 on June 22 last year for hiring one person with no right to work and 100 Menu on Wallgate, which has also closed down, was fined £15,000 on July 29 for the same offence.
Billinge Supper Bar was slapped with the largest penalty of all four, being fined £45,000 on August 4 last year for employing three illegal workers.
Finally, Sam’s Barber Shop was given a £15,000 fine on August 17 for one unlawful employment of an individual with no right to work.
The Home Office list serves to name businesses who have either not paid their fine or are not making regular payments towards them 28 days after they have “exhausted all their objection or appeal rights” or those served with a “second or further penalty” regardless of if any payments have been made.
The Home Office added: “We robustly pursue debts owed by employers of illegal immigrants, and in 2015/2016 collected more than £12m.”