Two County Durham businesses have been fined a collective £40,000 after they were found to be employing illegal workers.

Hetton-Le-Hole Hand Car Wash & Valeting Centre on Station Road and The Yellow Dragon on Sacriston Lane in Witton Gilbert were listed on the Government's website of companies that have been fined for illegal worker offences.

The revelation comes as part of the Government's quarterly round-up of companies that have had penalties issued for the use of illegal workers.

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According to the data - which is updated every three months - the two businesses that have been caught have been fined £10,000 and £30,000 respectively.

The Home Office releases the data into the public record four times per year, and the latest data relates to the period of October to December 2022.

The businesses that have been fined for employing illegal workers are: 

  • Hetton-Le-Hole Hand Car Wash & Valeting Centre, Station Road, Hetton-le-Hole, Houghton le Spring, County Durham - fined £10,000
  • The Yellow Dragon, Sacriston Lane, Witton Gilbert fined £30,000

According to the Government, there can be severe penalties for employing individuals who do not have the right to work. says: "You can be sent to jail for 5 years and pay an unlimited fine if you’re found guilty of employing someone who you knew or had ‘reasonable cause to believe’ did not have the right to work in the UK.

This includes, for example, if you had any reason to believe that:

  • They did not have leave (permission) to enter or remain in the UK
  • Their leave had expired
  • They were not allowed to do certain types of work
  • Their papers were incorrect or false