Press release

Clothing company director stripped of directorship for employing illegal workers

The director of a Leicester clothing company which went into liquidation a year ago has been disqualified from acting as a director for six years, after an investigation by the Insolvency Service, working with the Home Office.

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Sameena Bi Shaikh, 34, of Leicester, a director of SN Clothing Ltd for periods between April 2012 and February 2014, was found in June 2013 to be employing six workers who were not eligible to work in the UK. All had been while Mrs Shaikh was a director. The business, a ladies and children’s fashion wear outlet, went into liquidation in February 2014, owing £119,026 to creditors.

The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills accepted a six year undertaking from Mrs Shaikh which, from 3 September 2015, bans her from acting as a company director or from managing or in any way controlling a limited company until 2021. In addition to the disqualification order, the company was fined £25,000.

Sue MacLeod, Chief Investigator of Insolvent Investigations, Midlands & West at the Insolvency Service, said:

“Illegal workers are not protected under employment law, and as well as cheating legitimate job seekers out of employment opportunities these employers defraud the taxpayer and undercuts honest competitors. This should serve as a warning to other directors who may feel tempted to break the law.”

The Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006, makes employers responsible for preventing illegal workers in the UK. To comply with the law, a company must check and be able to prove documents have been checked prior to recruitment that show a person is entitled to work.

Notes to editors

SN Clothing Ltd (Company Registration Number 08021218) was incorporated on 5 April 2012, traded from Supra House, Evington Valley Road, Leicester LE5 5LJ and Mrs Sameena Bi Shaikh was the director from 6 April 2012 to 1 April 2013 and from 11 June 2013 until 21 February 2014 (the date of liquidation).

The six year undertaking was signed on behalf of the Secretary of State on 13 August 2015, to be effective from 3 September 2015.

Mrs Sameena Bi Shaikh’s date of birth is 28 November 1980.

The Home Office Immigration Enforcement issued a £25,000 penalty on SN Clothing Ltd for breaching the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act. The penalty was made up of £5,000 for each of the four illegal workers employed and £5,000 in respect of a worker who was in breach of his visa conditions. No penalty was issued in respect of the sixth worker as HOIE considered it would not have been “reasonably apparent” that the passport he produced was not genuine.

A disqualification order has the effect that without specific permission of a court, a person with a disqualification cannot:

  • act as a director of a company
  • take part, directly or indirectly, in the promotion, formation or management of a company or limited liability partnership
  • be a receiver of a company’s property

In addition that person cannot act as an insolvency practitioner and there are many other restrictions are placed on disqualified directors by other regulations.

Disqualification undertakings are the administrative equivalent of a disqualification order but do not involve court proceedings. Further information on director disqualifications and restrictions is available.

The Insolvency Service administers the insolvency regime, investigating all compulsory liquidations and individual insolvencies (bankruptcies) through the Official Receiver to establish why they became insolvent. It may also use powers under the Companies Act 1985 to conduct confidential fact-finding investigations into the activities of live limited companies in the UK. In addition, the agency authorises and regulates the insolvency profession, deals with disqualification of directors in corporate failures, assesses and pays statutory entitlement to redundancy payments when an employer cannot or will not pay employees, provides banking and investment services for bankruptcy and liquidation estate funds and advises ministers and other government departments on insolvency law and practice.

Further information about the work of the Insolvency Service, and how to complain about financial misconduct, is available.

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Published 8 September 2015