Mr Montaz Ali Azad, former director of Eurolinen UK Ltd (“Eurolinen”), an industrial laundry in Greater Manchester, has been disqualified from acting as a director for six years after the company was found to have employed three illegal workers.
Eurolinen went into liquidation on 18 September 2014 owing £105,367 to creditors. The disqualification followed an investigation by the Insolvency Service, working with the Home Office.
Mr Azad was found to have failed to ensure Eurolinen complied with its statutory obligations to complete relevant immigration checks and retain copy documents, resulting in the employment of three illegal workers. Following a visit from immigration officers on 27 September 2013 Eurolinen was issued with a penalty notice for the sum of £15,000 which remained unpaid at the date of liquidation.
As the sole director of Eurolinen from 1 March 2005 Mr Azad was responsible for ensuring the company complied with the provisions of the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006.
The maximum civil penalty for each employed individual found not to have the right to work is now £20,000 and, since 12 July 2016, an employer who "has reasonable cause to believe" that an employee is disqualified from the employment by reason of their immigration status can be subject to imprisonment for up to five years.
The case emphasises the top-level accountability of company directors. A company’s management team needs to ensure that responsibility is assigned to appropriate individuals who can effect compliance with the law on prevention of illegal working and that robust procedures are in place to carry out right to work checks and identify and report any apparent issues.
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