06 November 2012

Tesco fined £115,000 over UK visa abuse

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Supermarket giant Tesco has been handed a £115,000 fine for allowing over 23 foreign workers to work well in excess of UK visa conditions.

UK visa

Supermarket giant Tesco has been fined £115,000 for allowing 23 foreign staff to work in violation of UK visa conditions.

In August, a UK Border Agency operation arrested 20 foreign students in the country on a UK visa to study. As per the conditions of their visas, the students were permitted to work 20 hours a week. However, they were found to have been working as much as 70 hours a week.

Following further investigations, three more foreign students were found to be in violation of the terms of their visas and were taken into custody. All 23 of the students, of either Bangladeshi or Indian origin, have since believed to have been deported.

A Tesco spokesperson at the time said the company had been aware of the UKBA operation and had co-operated fully, even providing overtime for the 20 suspects.

Tesco employs over 300,000 people in the UK and has significant infrastructure to deal with a workforce of that size. However, the UKBA has fined Tesco £115,000 in an effort to demonstrate no exceptions will be made in the prosecution of employers allowing employees to work illegally.

"This fine shows that we will not hesitate to take action against employers that break the rules," said a UKBA spokesperson.

""Illegal working has a serious impact on our communities and where we have intelligence to suggest it is taking place we will take action as we have done in this case.

"It is the legal responsibility of all employers to make sure employees have the right to work in the UK; those who don't face serious fines.

"We are always willing to work with employers to make sure they carry out the necessary checks and Tesco has co-operated fully with our investigation."


The UK Visa Bureau is an independent immigration consultancy specialising in helping people prepare for their UK Ancestry Visa application.

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