Immigration enforcement officers carried out “intelligence-led visits” to a number of Bryon restaurants earlier this month and arrested 35 staff from Albania, Brazil, Nepal and Egypt in order to “progress their removal from the UK”.
A spokesperson for the Home Office said that Byron had carried out the correct “right to work” checks on staff, but had been shown false or forged documentation and therefore will not face civil penalty action.
“The operation was carried out with the full co-operation of the business.”
A spokesperson for Byron confirmed that several of its restaurants received visits by representatives of the Home Office, which led to the removal and arrest of staff who did not have the right to work in the UK and who were in possession of “fraudulent personal and right to work documentation”.
“The Home Office recognises that Byron as an employer is fully compliant with immigration and asylum law in its employment practices, and that Byron had carried out the correct ‘right to work’ checks on staff members, but had been shown false/counterfeit documentation,” said the spokesperson.
“At Byron we are proud of the diversity of our restaurant teams, built around people of all backgrounds and all walks of life.
“We have cooperated fully and acted upon the Home Office’s requests throughout the course of the investigations leading to this action, and will continue to do so.”