Restaurant convicted on work permit charge

Judge Desmond Zaidan
A COMPANY behind an Enfield restaurant has been fined E2,000 for allowing a non Irish national to work in its restaurant without a work permit.

A COMPANY behind an Enfield restaurant has been fined E2,000 for allowing a non Irish national to work in its restaurant without a work permit.

At Kilcock District Court on 19 March, Aglio Limited, was convicted of the charge

But the Court was told that the Egyptian national working at the Italian restaurant was not been exploited.

A Department of Trade and Enterprise inspector, Derek Molloy, said they were doing a general inspection in the area on 7 December 2012 when they came across the worker but there was no evidence he had come into the State.

Mr Molloy told Judge Desmond Zaidan that there was no available documentation to suggest that the man was in the country and the restaurant owner told the Department that he had been told that the employee was a student.

However, the Aglio did not have any documentation for him.

Judge Zaidan said it was “laughable” the man employee could have a PPS number and no documentation. “Surely it would be easier for you if all of this was tightened up at source.”

Judge Zaidan said information was correlated in these matters.

Mr. Molloy said a PPS number did not give the Egyptian national a legal right to work.

Judge Zaidan said he was sure there were others in this position.

He was told was paid above the minimum wage and was paying tax.

The maximum fine was for this offence is E4,000.

The Court, which was shown the balance sheet and profit and loss accounts, was told that the owner had “very small profits” of around €25,000 per year.

It served about 150 meals over a six day period and turnover was between €2,500 and €4,000.

Judge Zaidan asked if there was any question of the employee being abused.

Mr. Molloy replied “not to my knowledge..there is no evidence of it.”

His pay slips showed he was paid, at least the minimum, wage.

The company’s solicitor said the employee had a P45, paid tax, and the restaurant thought he was legitimate.

Mr. Molloy said the Aglio was very co-operative with the Department.

He said he did not know, now, where the Eygptian employee was. He was no longer with the company. It was a matter for the Immigration authorities to follow that up, said the Department inspector.

Mr. Molloy said every employee must either have an EU passport/documentation or a work permit.