The press release issued by the Home Office on 19 October 2023.
The intelligence-led operation uncovered illegal working and exploitation of agency staff at the 4 star hotel in London.
Home Office teams found 11 people employed illegally as cleaners, porters and maids, working 15 hours a day through third party recruitment agencies.
The agency staff, of 6 different nationalities, were significantly underpaid and were thought to be working at the hotel for half the normal salary under 2 separate subcontractors.
Five of the staff encountered were detained pending their removal from the country, while a further 6 were bailed and will be required to report regularly to the Home Office. None of them had the right to work in the UK.
One of those arrested had been smuggled into the UK illegally.
The visit took place as part of a Home Office campaign targeting illegal working in the hospitality sector, as the government clamps down on illicit employers.
It was arranged with support from Marriott Regents Park to ensure those suspected of working illegally at the hotel would be on site when officers arrived.
Immigration Enforcement visits are at their highest since 2019 and up by 50% on last year.
Immigration officers across the UK have carried out over 100 visits to businesses in the hospitality sector so far this year.
Suran Padiachie, Deputy Director of Immigration Enforcement and Compliance at the Home Office said:
When the British public pay for a hotel room in Central London, they should be confident that the staff serving them are contributing to society through fair and lawful employment.
I’m grateful to Marriott for their cooperation with this case. Their support allowed my officers to swiftly identify the illegal workers and take action against their third party employers to ensure they face appropriate sanctions.
Illegal working exploits vulnerable people and damages the economy, which is why we’re using the full weight of the law to clamp down on rogue employers and remove those with no right to be in the UK.
The employers of the agency staff working at the Regents Park hotel have been handed a civil penalty referral notice, which could result in a fine of up to £20,000 for each illegal worker.
In August it was announced that fines for employers who allow illegal migrants to work for them will be tripled. This will come into force at the start of 2024.