Chelmsford restaurant faces losing licence after immigration raid

A Chelmsford restaurant faces being stripped of its licence after an immigration raid found illegal workers.

Officers from the East of England Immigration, Compliance and Enforcement team say there were two illegal workers encountered at Mosaic in Springfield Road when officers visited on June 29, 2023.

Both workers maintained that they were not working at the premises. But immigration enforcement officers say one employee was encountered whilst working behind a “Just Eat” terminal in a ‘staff only’ area and the other employee was washing dishes in the kitchen.

They say the designated premises supervisor claims that Right to Work checks are generally conducted for staff but he was unsure if this had been completed for all staff working and was unable to provide evidence of documents or that checks were carried out.

A submission from the East of England Immigration, Compliance and Enforcement team said the use of illegal labour provides an unfair competitive edge and deprives the UK economy of tax revenue.

In addition, illegal workers are often paid below the minimum wage and National Insurance payments are not paid. Low-skilled migrants are also increasingly vulnerable to exploitation by criminal enterprises.

It adds: “Merely remedying the existing situation – for instance by the imposition of additional conditions or a suspension – is insufficient to act as a deterrent to the licence holder and other premises’ licence holders from engaging in illicit activity by employing illegal workers and facilitating disqualified immigrants to work illegally. Immigration Enforcement asks that the premise’s licence is revoked.”

Mosaic was contacted for comment.

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Piers Meyler

Local Democracy Reporter