Press release

Supermarket company director disqualified for employing illegal workers

The director of a Birmingham supermarket 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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Muhammad Hassan Uddin of Birmingham, a director of New Continental Supermarket Ltd from 20 May 2013 to 12 November 2014, was found in June 2013 to be employing three workers who were not eligible to work in the UK. All had been employed while Mr Uddin was a director.

The business, a supermarket went into liquidation on 12 November 2014, owing £112,243 to creditors including £12,500 in respect of a fine imposed by Home Office Immigration Enforcement for employing illegal workers.

The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills accepted a 6 year Disqualification Undertaking from Mr Uddin which, from 18 November 2015, bans him from acting as a company director or from managing or in any way controlling a limited company until 2021. In addition to the Disqualification Undertaking, the company was fined £12,500 by the Home Office Immigration Enforcement.

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

New Continental Supermarket (CRO No.08536665) was incorporated on 20 May 2013 and traded from 560 Coventry Road, Small Heath, Birmingham B10 0UN.

Mr Muhammad Hassan Uddin was the sole director from 20 May 2013 to 12 November 2014 (the date of liquidation).

The six year Disqualification Undertaking was signed on behalf of the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills on 28 October 2015, to be effective from 18 November 2015.

The matters of unfitness, which Mr Uddin did not dispute in the Disqualification Undertaking, were that:

While a director of New Continental Supermarket Ltd, I failed to ensure that New Continental Supermarket Ltd complied with its obligations as an employer under the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006, in that New Continental Supermarket Ltd employed three illegal workers and following a visit by Home Office Immigration Enforcement, on 24 June 2013 was fined £12,500 and the fine remained outstanding at the date of liquidation.

The Home Office Immigration Enforcement fine of £12,500 issued to New Continental Supermarket Ltd was for breaching the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act. The fine was made up of £5,000 for two of the three illegal workers and £2,500 in respect of the third illegal worker.

Mr Uddin’s date of birth is 24 April 1982 and he resides in Birmingham.

All public enquiries concerning the affairs of the company should be made to: Insolvent Investigations, Midlands & West, 4th Floor, Cannon House, 18 Priory Queensway, Birmingham B4 6FD. Tel: 0121 698 4000. Email: Sue.Macleod@insolvency.gsi.gov.uk.

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 18 November 2015