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Olympic Games 2012: Illegal Immigrants

Volume 504: debated on Wednesday 27 January 2010

To ask the Minister for the Olympics (1) how many arrests have been made of illegal immigrants working on the Olympic site since construction began; (305745)

(2) what checks the Government makes to ensure that employees working on the Olympic site are entitled to work in the UK;

(3) whether any companies working on the Olympic site have been fined for the employment of illegal immigrants since construction began.

I have been asked to reply.

Between 1 April 2009 and 10 December 2009, 49 people have been arrested attempting to gain employment, or working specifically at the Olympic park and athletes’ village sites, 40 of these were never actually employed at the sites.

Prior to April 2009, no data exclusively for arrests on the Olympic park site are available. Arrest figures collected between April 2008 and March 2009 are for projects in Stratford and the surrounding area, and include the Olympic park and Olympic village. Only an aggregate figure is available for this period and a total of 138 foreign nationals seeking to gain employment or working at these locations (including the Stratford City Westfield development) were arrested on suspicion of working in the UK without permission or presenting false documentation during this time.

These figures do not constitute part of National Statistics as they are based on internal management information. The information has not been quality assured under National Statistics protocols and should be treated as provisional and subject to change.

The responsibility for ensuring employees have the right to work in the UK rests with the employer. Since April 2008, UKBA staff have been working with the Olympic Delivery Authority and contractors to support the site security process of checking that people employed on the Olympic park and athletes village hold genuine identity documents and are legally entitled to work in the UK.

Three employers have been issued with Notices of Potential Liability for employing illegal workers and failing to carry out the appropriate checks to confirm that their employees are entitled to work in the UK. Two have been fined, one was found not to be liable.