Chef-restaurateur Norman Musa has been handed a five-year disqualification for employing illegal workers at his Manchester restaurant, Ning.
Musa, Young Asian & Oriental Chef of the Year at the 2012 Asian Curry Awards, will not be able to run a business until December 2021. Ning received the Best Malaysian Restaurant award at the same ceremony.
The disqualification follows an investigation by the Insolvency Service, which found that Musa failed to ensure the business completed relevant immigration checks on its employees, resulting in the employment of two illegal workers.
The breach was discovered following a visit to the restaurant from Home Office immigration officers on 2 October 2014, and a penalty notice of £20,000 was imposed on the company. The penalty remained unpaid at liquidation on 15 December 2014.
Robert Clarke, head of Insolvent Investigations North at the Insolvency Service, said: “The director sought an unfair advantage over his competitors by employing an individual who did not have the right to work in the UK, in breach of his duties as a director.
“The public has a right to expect that those who break the law will face the consequences. Running a limited company means you have statutory obligations as well as protections. If you fail to comply with your obligations then the Insolvency Service will investigate you.”
A Home Office spokesperson added: “Illegal working is not victimless. It undercuts honest employers, cheats legitimate job seekers out of employment opportunities and defrauds the taxpayer. Businesses should be aware that they have a duty to check that their staff have permission to work in the UK.
“We are happy to work with employers who play by the rules but those who do not should know that they will not go under our radar.”
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