UK immigration matters and articles on migration, studying or working in the UK, as well as other countries. UK immigration visa appeals, refusal of visas or leave to remain, deportation and removal from the UK and overstaying in the UK. Articles on setting up a business online and making money online.
Monday, August 01, 2016
Home Office raid on Byron Burger Bar unleashes social media frenzy as 35 migrant workers deported
You may have read about the recent social media fury over
claims that Byron, a UK burger chain with restaurants in London and Scotland, collaborated
with the Home Office to have 35 of its staff deported back to countries
including Brazil, Nepal, Egypt and Albania. Byrony Gordon, writing for The
Telegraph gives an interesting slant on the backlash that followed, which
became Byron’s worst media nightmare.
The Home Office announced that 35 people had been arrested
for immigration offences at a number of restaurants across London, and added
that the operation had been carried out with the "full co-operation"
of Byron earlier this month.
The story continues that the business had carried out the
correct "right to work" checks on staff, but had been shown false or
counterfeit documentation and as they had been able to demonstrate this they
did not incur civil penalty action, the Home Office said.
In other words, by “working with” the Home Office, the
company was obeying the law by allowing (they would be compelled to do anyway) the
Government access to workers who had used fake documentation to obtain jobs, which
in effect deprives other people (immigrants included) of work in the UK.
The Telegraph reported that Unions claimed migrant workers
were ‘lured to their fates’ under false pretences – a health and safety meeting
– as if these staff hadn’t themselves behaved in a similarly underhand fashion. The Unite union complained that the ‘deportees wouldn’t get redundancy’. Byrony
gasps: “imagine, defrauding your employers and then not getting a pay-off when
they uncover your duplicity!”
What followed after the story broke is incredible. A protest
hashtag was unleashed on Twitter: #BoycottByron. Then on Friday, thousands of cockroaches and locusts were
released into two of the chain’s restaurants in London.
Virtuous people on social media announced they would not be
spending £8 on a burger, to show ‘solidarity’ for the deported workers. A mass
protest was arranged over the weekend at the company’s Holborn branch.
Twitter was deluged with accusations that Byron was happy to
“exploit” illegal workers before throwing them to the wolves when it looked
like it might get found out.
But it could also be argued that the company was merely fulfilling its legal duty by checking
its workers’ documents, which it later found to be bogus. The documents fooled
Byron (it is still not that easy to fully verify documents), but were obviously uncovered by the Home Office enforcement team, which
has the ultimate responsibility to verify immigration status and deport illegal
immigrants and visa overstayers.
If you want to avoid Home Office raids and a painful fine, make sure you follow the correct immigration document checking procedures, which you can find on the Home Office website, audit files regularly and seek advice if you are unsure.
In the meantime, there are also reports that the Cedars
detention centre is to b closed by the Home Office, now under the leadership of new Home Secretary Amber Rudd, following negative reports.
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