Byron under fire for helping Home Office deport employees - but say false documents were used to get the jobs


Dozens of workers at burger chain Byron have been arrested in a swoop by immigration officials - and people have taken to Twitter to say they are boycotting the chain because of it.

Thirty five people from Albania, Brazil, Nepal and Egypt were arrested for immigration offences at a number of restaurants across London. The Home Office said it was part of an operation they said was carried out with the "full co-operation" of Byron.

A spokesman for the Home Office dismissed reports that an event was set up to lure workers to one place for immigration officials, after an anonymous Byron employee told Spanish newspaper El Iberico that staff members were asked to attend what they were told was a training session on July 4, before being rounded up by immigration officials.

It led to protests on Twitter and #boycottbyron trending.

However the burger chain said it was showed "fraudulent personal and right to work documentation" by the employees to get the jobs in the first place.

And the Home Office said the burger business carried out the correct "right to work" checks on staff members, and because it had been shown counterfeit documentation it would not face civil penalty action.

A Byron statement said: "We can confirm that several of Byron's London restaurants were visited by representatives of the Home Office.

"These visits resulted in the removal of members of staff who are suspected by the Home Office of not having the right to work in the UK, and of possessing fraudulent personal and right to work documentation that is in breach of immigration and employment regulation.

"We have co-operated fully and acted upon the Home Office's requests throughout the course of the investigations leading to this action, and will continue to do so."

The burger chain said the Home Office recognises that as an employer Byron is "fully compliant with immigration and asylum law in its employment practices".

The Home Office said: "Immigration Enforcement officers carried out intelligence-led visits to a number of Byron restaurants across London on July 4, arresting 35 people for immigration offences. The operation was carried out with the full co-operation of the business."