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November 6, 2012
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Tesco fined £115,000 for employing illegal foreign workers

The Telegraph reports how Britain’s biggest supermarket chain has been fined £115,000 for breaches involving 23 workers.  Tesco faces fines of up to £200,000. It follows Home Office operations to put a stop to “visa abuse'.  UK Border Agency officials decided against revoking any licences "because they wanted to work with Tesco to solve the problem", reports the Telegragh.

UKBA Officials had approached Tesco executives shortly before the raids and asked them to keep giving the students illegal overtime “in order to catch them in the act”.  In “full co-operation” with Tesco officials, the UKBA raided the Factory Lane warehouse at 3am on Saturday, July 21.

Investigations found they had been working between 50 and 70 hours a week during the school term, when their visas only allowed for 20 hours.  Tesco was subsequently issued with a “notification of potential liability”.

Authorities were deciding whether to go further and issue the employer with a notification of liability, and a fine of up to £10,000 per illegal worker.

The fine that has been imposed is the equivalent of £5000 per breach.

In a statement, a UK Border Agency spokesman said today: “This fine shows that we will not hesitate to take action against employers that break the rules.  "Illegal working has a serious impact on our communities and where we have intelligence to suggest it is taking place we will take action, as we have done in this case.

“It is the legal responsibility of all employers to make sure employees have the right to work in the UK and those who don’t face serious fines."

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