Takeaway owners fined €1,700 over workers without permits
The directors of a takeaway have been fined €1,700 for employing people without valid work permits.
George Kuruvilla and Jois Thomas, directors of Kedharam Catering Limited and trading as Food Guru in Swords, were also fined €200 for not providing employees with holiday entitlements.
Swords District Court heard the takeaway, with an address at North Street Business Park, Swords, was visited by an inspector from the Department for Business Enterprise and Innovation on September 29, 2016 as part of compliance checks.
On entering the takeaway, the inspector saw five employees. He said four of them, from Bangladesh, India and Mauritius, had no current work permits to be employed there.
He informed the directors of their obligations as per Employment Permit Acts.
On October 13, 2016 the inspector checked the employee records and contraventions were detected as annual leave and public holiday entitlements were not provided to employees, contravening the Workplace Relations Act.
In a follow-up visit last May 11, the inspector detected five employees working in the takeaway, but two did not have current work permits.
He said the annual leave and public holidays contravention was not addressed.
The directors' solicitor explained to the court that the takeaway was a small business and an accountant the directors had advising them at the beginning had been removed.
The inspector said the business was set up on June 23, 2015 by the two directors, 10 months before his first visit.
The solicitor explained there had been a delay in getting work permits.
The solicitor said the directors, who accepted the evidence, were in a difficult position as they were trying to negotiate a new lease with the landlord and "got sidetracked trying to purchase the business".
"They have changed accountants and are now trying to finally regulate the business," the solicitor said.
When asked by Judge Dermot Dempsey if the directors were continuing to employ people without permits, the solicitor said they were.
"So it's an ongoing breach," said Judge Dempsey.
He fined the directors €1,700 for employing workers without valid permits and further fined them €200 plus €500 in legal costs for breaches of the Workplace Relations Act.