Salon owners warned to carry out checks on staff amid crackdown on illegal workers

Salon owners are being warned to carry out the correct background checks on new staff amid a crackdown on illegal workers.

Following the December 2016 raids on more than 280 salons across the country that resulted in the arrests of 97 illegal workers, there have been additional checks made on individual salons this year.

Luxury Nails in Blandford, Dorset, was raided last month and a Vietnamese worker was found to have entered the UK illegally. A second person in the salon, who was a minor, was not working there but was also found to be in the UK illegally.

Additional raids were carried out on two Merseyside salons in January. NY Nails in Liscard and Purple Nails in Southport were targeted by immigration enforcement officers and both served with warning notices; NY Nails for employing an illegal worker and a minor, and Purple Nails for employing a man working illegally on an expired visa.

The salons face a penalty of £20,000 unless they can produce documentation that demonstrates the employees’ right to work, as required by law.

The issue was also investigated in Channel 4 documentary The Modern British Slave Trade, which aired in February and explored the world of people trapped in forced labour in the UK. The programme showed a raid on a nail salon in Scotland where a 16-year-old Vietnamese worker was found to have entered the UK illegally. The owner of the nail bar was later convicted of trafficking and sentenced to 12 months in prison.