Byron/Burger Joint gets a grilling

Byron has faced biblical reprisals with activists protesting and releasing swarms of crickets into its Shaftesbury and Holborn restaurants. It had allegedly co-operated with the Home Office to have 35 employees deported by inviting them to a training session where immigration officials were waiting in a separate room to arrest the employees who did not have the required documentation to prove they had the right to work in the UK.

Recently, thepassing of the Immigration Act 2016,  has created 2 new criminal offences, namely where working when disqualified from doing so, and employing a person where there is ‘reasonable cause’ to believe they do not have a right to work (which complements the offence of ‘knowing’ the person has no right to work).

Employing someone illegally can lead to reputational damage, as in the case of Byron, or even a criminal conviction. It is therefore important for employers to remember to verify all new employees’ documents to ensure they are allowed to legally work in the UK. Doing these checks properly also provides a ‘statutory excuse’ which can be used by an employer if it transpires that the employee did not have the right to work in the UK.

Dominic Bonham