One of the Tesco stores was checked by the UK Border Agency and it turned out that some of the workers there are foreign students, who might work longer than allowed by their visas.
On 21 July, at a Tesco groceries` facility in Croydon, the UKBA made a raid and it was uncovered that employees, who are actually foreign students, mainly from India and Bangladesh are working more than three times longer than their visas permit. In the UK foreign students can work for up to 20 hours per week and the UKBA is very strict about this. However at the Croydon store it has been discovered that they work for about 70 hours per week.
Penalties will probably affect both sides, as 20 of the students have been arrested and 7 of them deported. The UKBA will not close the case until every single point is made clear and it issues Tesco with a notification of liability. If the accusations are proved, Tesco will face a fine of £10,000 for each illegally employed student, which comes to £200, 000 altogether.
If Tesco manages to satisfy the UKBA commission and prove they are being very careful when it comes to employment, the fine could be avoided. The UKBA needs to make sure that every employer is performing the necessary checks and follows the legal regulation so that no one is working in a company in a way which can be considered illegal.
The Tesco supermarket is concerned about what happened so they are co-operating with the UKBA in investigating the case. They said to have taken all the necessary measures to tighten their employment procedures and everything is in compliance with the requirements.
A spokesperson for Tesco said: “We take our responsibilities as an employer very seriously and do not condone illegal working of any kind.
“We have a comprehensive system for ensuring all the correct procedures are followed in this area which has been externally audited and generally works well. We have now taken additional steps to ensure an incident of this nature does not happen again.”
Currently Tesco is the employer of 300,000 people around the UK.