Mr Kumar was sole director of a cooked-foods wholesaler in Birmingham from 16 May 2013 to 21 November 2014, at which point the company went into liquidation. The Insolvency Service (working with the Home Office) subsequently investigated Mr Kumar’s company. It found, on two separate occasions, that during his period of directorship, Mr Kumar was employing two workers who were not eligible to work in the UK. As a result, Mr Kumar is disqualified from acting as a director for seven years, until 2023.

This decision follows a similar case where a director of a fast food takeaway in Manchester employed three illegal workers. In this case, the director is disqualified for six years.

These cases are a stark reminder that employers must ensure that their companies comply with their statutory obligations under the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 which makes employers responsible for preventing illegal working in the UK.

To comply with their obligations, employers should check documents (and be able to prove documents have been checked) that prove their workers’ eligibility to work in the UK. This is of particular importance since the government’s announcement that, from April 2017, it will deny employers the national insurance employment allowance for one year if they employ illegal workers and receive a civil penalty as a result.