CareFirst 24, a nursing agency based in Sutton, South London, is in court today accused of hiring 52 workers who do not have the legal right to be employed in the UK.
Many of the agency staff were used by local authorities to provide domestic and care home services. Croydon Crown Court was told that CareFirst 24 was paid £500,000 by Sutton Council for care services over a period of six years.
The company’s co-owners, Mahendrasing Caussyram and his wife Saraspedy, face allegations that they recruited people from outside the European Union. Those with correct visas for working allegedly stayed after their visas expired, the court heard.
“Many of the carers sub-contracted by CareFirst 24 were overseas nationals from countries outside the European Union, in particular the Philippines – in other words, migrants,” said prosecutor Andrew Evans.
“In some cases they continued to work after their visas expired. They were what the Home Office terms as illegal overstayers,” he continued.
“If local authorities had known that CareFirst 24 was providing services via carers not working lawfully in the UK … those services would have terminated and no further payment made,” Evans suggested.
The Caussyrams, both directors of CareFirst 24, both deny two charges of facilitating breaches of immigration law between January 2011 and January 2013 and concealing criminal property.