Restaurant boss gets illegal workers warning
THE owner of a popular Indian restaurant has been given a warning after three men were found to be illegally working at his premises.
Immigration officers visited the award-winning Whitecroft Indian Bar and Restaurant in Oswaldtwistle and found three staff members – two Bangladeshis and a Sudanese – who were not legally permitted to work there.
Hyndburn Council’s licensing sub-committee met to review the premises licence which, if revoked, would prohibit the restaurant from selling alcohol.
Members heard the venue on Haslingden Old Road had a turnover of about £6,000 per week, with 40 per cent of that made through alcohol sales.
Owner Rihibur Rahman said the restaurant would no longer be financially viable if their premises licence was revoked and they would have to close down.
Solicitor Nick Dearing, representing Mr Rahman, said his client recognised the seriousness of the situation.
Whitecroft, which was awarded the title of Best Restaurant for Lancashire at the British Curry Life Awards 2018 in October, caters for up to 100 people and operates with eight full-time employees.
The meeting heard a visit from immigration officers on September 21 found three of Mr Rahman’s workers were not entitled to work in the UK.
One of the employees, provided false documents in relation to his identity, the meeting was told. Another supplied a false passport and fake national insurance details to the company when he started, it was claimed.
Two other employees were entitled to be in the UK but had no right to be in employment, councillors heard.
Mr Dearing said Mr Rahman had since taken steps to ensure all his employees had the right to work in the UK and would be installing a UV checking machine to make sure all passports were real.
He added: “Mr Rahman is genuinely committed to making sure this mistake is never repeated.
“These were working on a basis.
“He now refuses to allow anyone to work at the premises until he has seen their documentation.”
Committee chairman councillor Tim O’Kane said: “We appreciate the fact that you have been honest with us and accepted that it is a very serious offence.
“The men who were working illegally have been dealt with and we did not feel it fair on the other employees of Whitecroft to take the blanket decision to revoke the premises licence, which would punish these people as well.
“We will be keeping an eye on you and wish you well with your business.” men casual
Whitecroft Indian Bar and Restaurant in Oswaldtwistle