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Harrow Council revokes Wealdstone’s HR Food and Wine licence

Harrow Council revokes Wealdstone’s HR Food and Wine licence

A newsagent lost his licence after police discovered he hired illegal workers and paid other staff less than minimum wage.

Harrow Council’s licensing panel decided to revoke Dijeet Singh Kapoor’s licence at HR Food and Wine, in High Street, Wealdstone.

It noted “very serious breaches” of the shop’s licence and said the objective of preventing crime and disorder had been “seriously undermined”.

The application for revocation had been put forward by the Metropolitan Police who found Mr Kapoor hired people with no right to work in the UK.

They also found he hired a student whose resident permit stated she could work no more than 20 hours a week.

However, she could not provide her employer’s record of her hours worked and said she works “whenever she is needed”.

Officers also noted that two other members of staff told them they were paid £6.50 an hour, in cash. Minimum wage as of April 2019 is £8.21 per hour for those over 25 and £7.70 for those aged 21 to 24.

“Employing someone with no right to work or who may be in breach of their working restrictions usually means they are poorly paid in cash, meaning tax can be evaded and minimum wage laws avoided by the employer,” the police application stated.

“There are considerable efforts being made by the police and partner agencies to improve the area of Wealdstone.

“However, this can only be achieved with a buy in from the businesses and residents in the area.

“By employing illegal workers and not having a good grip of their licensing practices, business owners have a hand in allowing criminal activity and anti-social behaviour to continue.”

Mr Kapoor told officers he would not allow these issues to arise again, and his representatives asked the panel to merely suspend his licence for eight weeks to allow him to address the situation.

But the panel noted he had failed to act on previous occasions and decided revocation was “appropriate” in these circumstances.

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