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Burger chain Byron made headlines last month when the Home Office arrested a number of illegal workers. Given the tougher new immigration rules now in place, what are employers' roles and responsibilities when it comes to right to work checks?
The prevention of illegal working has been at the forefront of media coverage in recent weeks. On 12 July 2016, the Immigration Act 2016 came into force introducing new criminal penalties for individuals working in breach of their visa conditions and increasing the penalties for employers.
Just two weeks later, the Home Office arrested a number of employees of burger chain Byron, who were suspected of working illegally.
The Home Office regularly undertakes these compliance visits but they rarely get noticed. Byron - on the other hand - is a popular high street name with George Osborne, the former Chancellor of the Exchequer, among its fans. In retrospect, press coverage seems inevitable.
Most of the media attention rested on the fact that Byron had agreed to cooperate with the Home Office. This was always going to be a tricky balancing act. I imagine that Byron takes its duty of care to employees very seriously but, of course, also needed to follow the law.
It appears the Home Office had intelligence that criminal immigration offences were being committed on Byron's premises.
Officials have powers to enter and search premises to investi