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13 April 2011, 15:53 | Updated: 13 April 2011, 15:59
Two illegal workers have been arrested at a branch of Subway.
Acting on intelligence UK Border Agency officers visited the Hamilton Road sandwich shop in Felixstowe at 9:30am yesterday morning.
Immigration checks revealed that both of the members of staff on duty – two 23-year-old men from India - were working in breach of student visas.
The shop had to close temporarily after the men were arrested because no workers were left on site.
The UK Border Agency is now working to remove the men from the country.
Immigration Officer Mark Gear said:
“The revenue lost while the shop was closed means the business has already been hit in the pocket, but it could be facing an even bigger financial blow.
Employers have a legal responsibility to carry out right-to-work checks before taking on foreign nationals. Those that break the law face fines of up to £10,000 per illegal worker.”
In order to avoid a potential fine of as much as £20,000, the franchisee must now prove that appropriate pre-employment checks were conducted.
In a statement Subway said:
“The SUBWAY® chain is a franchise business. All our stores are franchisee owned and operated. As part of the franchise agreement, the SUBWAY® chain explicitly stipulates that franchisees must comply with all local laws applicable to their stores and the operation of their businesses, including local employment laws. This means franchisees are obliged to observe the law in recruiting, contracting and in all dealings with employees. The SUBWAY® chain will work in support of the UK Border Agency and fully co-operate with any investigation.”
Anyone who suspects that illegal workers are being employed at a business in Suffolk or Norfolk can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 anonymously or visit http://www.crimestoppers-uk.org.
Employers unsure of the steps they need to take to avoid employing illegal workers can visit http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/employers or they can call the UK Border Agency’s Employers Helpline on 0300 123 4699.