Press release

Taunton restaurant director banned for employing illegal workers

The director of an Indian restaurant in Taunton has been disqualified for six years for employing illegal workers.

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Rothna Kalam (Mrs Kalam) has given an undertaking to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, which prevents her from becoming directly or indirectly involved in the promotion, formation or management of a company for six years from 16 December 2016.

Mrs Kalam was the director of a restaurant company, Pink Garlic (Taunton) Limited, trading under the name Pink Garlic and on 27 February 2015 Home Office Immigration Enforcement Officers discovered that she was employing two workers who were not eligible to work in the UK.

The company went into liquidation on 18 May 2016 owing £45,194 to creditors, of which £30,000 was the fine imposed by the Home Office Immigration and Enforcement for employing the two illegal workers.

The unfit conduct that led to Rothna Kalam giving the Undertaking included that she failed to ensure that Pink Garlic (Taunton) Limited complied with its statutory obligations under immigration laws to ensure that relevant immigration checks were completed and copy documents retained, resulting in the employment of two illegal workers.

Commenting on the disqualification, Sue Macleod, Chief Investigator 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 tax payer and undercut honest competitors.

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.

The public has a right to expect that those who break the law will face the consequences and this should serve as a warning to other directors tempted to take on illegal staff.

Notes to editors

Pink Garlic (Taunton) Limited (CRO No.07615634) was incorporated on 27 April 2011. The company traded from 53 Hamilton Road, Taunton Somerset TA1 2EL and its registered office was at 53 Hamilton Road, Taunton, Somerset TA1 2EL.

Rothna Kalam, date of birth 15 November 1986, was a formally appointed director between 27 April 2011 and liquidation.

The company went into Liquidation on 18 May 2016. On 25 November 2016 the Secretary of State accepted a Disqualification Undertaking from Mrs Kalam effective from 16 December 2016, for six years.

Following a visit from Home Office Immigration Officers on 27 February 2015, during which this breach was discovered, Pink Garlic (Taunton) Limited was issued with a penalty notice in the sum of £30,000, which remained outstanding at the date of liquidation.

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

Disqualification undertakings are the administrative equivalent of a disqualification order but do not involve court proceedings.

Persons subject to a disqualification order are bound by a range of other restrictions.

The Insolvency Service, an executive agency sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), administers the insolvency regime, and aims to deliver and promote a range of investigation and enforcement activities both civil and criminal in nature, to support fair and open markets. We do this by effectively enforcing the statutory company and insolvency regimes, maintaining public confidence in those regimes and reducing the harm caused to victims of fraudulent activity and to the business community, including dealing with the disqualification of directors in corporate failures.

BEIS’ mission is to build a dynamic and competitive UK economy that works for all, in particular by creating the conditions for business success and promoting an open global economy. The Criminal Investigations and Prosecutions team contributes to this aim by taking action to deter fraud and to regulate the market. They investigate and prosecute a range of offences, primarily relating to personal or company insolvencies.

The agency also authorises and regulates the insolvency profession, 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 30 November 2016