Three County Durham businesses have been fined £60,000 collectively after they were found to be employing illegal workers.

The businesses have been listed in the Government's quarterly round-up of companies that have had penalties issued for the use of illegal workers.

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

The Home Office releases the data into the public record four times per year, and the latest data relates to the period of October 1 to December 31, 2023, and was released on Thursday (May 30).

From those fined, Tapas Factory in Durham was handed a £30,000 fine, while Kaplans Barbers in Seaham was another firm fined.

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

  • Tapas Factory, Durham Catering Limited, 14 Elvet Bridge, Durham, DH1 3AA, £30,000
  • Hakan Barbers, Hakan Barbers Ltd, 17 Yoden Way, Peterlee, SR8 1BP, £20,000
  • Kaplans Barbers, Kaplans Turkish Barber Ltd, 10 Church Street, Seaham, SR7 7HQ, £10,000

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

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Don't miss out on the latest news and stories. Subscribe to the Northern Echo, for just £3 for 3 months click here. 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