A County Durham convenience store has been fined heavily after UK government officers found that they had used illegal workers. 

Max Convenience, who runs Wheatley Hill Store in Wheatley Hill,  has appeared on the government's latest list of fines handed out to UK businesses who flouted illegal worker rules. 

The shop appeared alongside other North East businesses in the Government's quarterly round-up of companies that have had penalties issued for the use of illegal workers.

In total, Max Convenience/Wheatley Hill Store was fined £10,000 by the UK Government for falling short of the regulations. 

According to the data, which was released on December 1 - which is updated every three months - seven businesses in the North East have been caught and have been fined a collective £145,000. 

The Home Office releases the illegal worker data into the public record four times per year, and the latest data relates to the period of April 1 to June 30, 2023.

Max Convenience was on the lower end of fines given out in the latest round of fines - but was still handed a £10,000 penalty. 

The business was listed in the Home Office documents as follows:

  • Wheatley Hill Store, Max Convenience Durham Ltd, .9 Granville Terrace, Wheatley Hill, Durham, DH6 3JQ. Fined: £10,000.00.

Here are the other businesses fined for using illegal workers:

  • Ahad Tandoori - Ahad Tandoori Restaurant (Gosforth) Limited, 78-82 High Street, Gosforth, Newcastle-upon-TyneNE3 1HB. Fined: £10,000.00
  • China Garden, China Garden (NE) Ltd, 25 York Road, Birtley, Chester-le-Street, County Durham, DH3 2DE. Fined: £30,000.00
  • Persian Delight, Persian Delight Ltd, 280 Stanhope Street, Newcastle, NE4 5JT. Fined: £15,000.00
  • Montana Rashida Begum Hussain, 195 York Road, Hartlepool, TS26 9EE. Fined: £15,000.00
  • Starline Newsagents, Rezgar Othman, 252-256 Elswick Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, NE4 6SN. Fined: £15,000.00
  • Vespa Italian Bar and Restaurant, L&R Leisure NE Ltd, Roman Road, Primrose Hill, Jarrow, NE32 5UB. Fined: £50,000.00

According to the Government, there can be severe penalties for employing individuals who do not have the right to work.

Most read:

Get all the best local stories from The Northern Echo for just £3 for 3 months in our new sale. Click here for more info.

Gov.uk 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