The Director of a Blackburn restaurant and catering business has been disqualified for 6 years in connection with employing five illegal workers in contravention of the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006.

Mohammed Nadeem Shafi, who has been a director of Gazal Sweets & Restaurant trading as Maida since December 2011, will be disqualified from acting as a director from 5th August 2015. Director disqualification means that he will be prevented from promoting, managing or being a director for any limited company during the disqualified period.

As part of an investigation by the Home Office Immigration Enforcement (HOIE), Gazal’s trading premises were visited on 15th December 2013. Gazal was found to be employing five illegal workers who were being paid cash. The investigation found that Mr Shafi had not carried out checks as to the immigration status of the particular employees, which was in breach of his duties as a director.

Following the investigation by the HOIE, Gazal received a penalty of £15,000.00 but Mr Shafi placed the company into Creditors Voluntary Liquidation on 15th May 2014, so avoiding paying the fine. The Insolvency Service worked closely with the HOIE to achieve the disqualification of Mr Shafi.

Robert Clarke, head of Insolvency Investigations in the North at The Insolvency Service said: “The public has a right to expect that those who break the law will face the consequences. Running a limited company means you have statutory protections as well as obligations. If you fail to comply with your obligations then the Insolvency Service will investigate you.”

The crimes which lead to Mr Shafi’s disqualification were serious and this might be something which, as a director, you feel would never affect you. However, Farleys have acted for a number of directors who are facing investigations by the Insolvency Service and threats of disqualification for acts or omissions on a much smaller scale.

Whilst the economy is improving at the moment, we have seen a few difficult years in which companies have become insolvent and are eventually placed into liquidation. When this happens, the Insolvency Service investigates the company dealings in the run up to the liquidation and particularly the actions and inactions of the directors. If the Insolvency Service believe that the directors have acted in breach of their duties then they could be facing disqualification proceedings. This can completely disrupt any future plans the director has of being involved in the running of a limited company.

Farleys Solicitors has a specialist team of commercial solicitors who can provide advice about director disqualification, corporate insolvency and directors’ duties. For further advice or to speak to a member of our award winning family law team call 0845 050 1958, alternatively please complete an online enquiry form.