B&Q OKR

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Monday 9 June 2008 9.16am
The last few times I've been to B&Q on the Old Kent Road there have been groups of young men hanging around in the car park. I get the impression that they're casual labourers waiting for work. This is normally quite early in the morning (before 8am). Does anyone know anything about who they are or has anyone hired them to do oddjobs ?
Monday 9 June 2008 9.46am
I've never hired them, but this happens all over California where groups of mainly Mexican workers hang around car parks early in the morning waiting to get picked up for work. In the States you are liable to significant fines if you get caught hiring illegal workers and I imagine there are equivalent penalties in the UK.
Monday 9 June 2008 11.04am
carmenes82 wrote:
I've never hired them, but this happens all over California where groups of mainly Mexican workers hang around car parks early in the morning waiting to get picked up for work. In the States you are liable to significant fines if you get caught hiring illegal workers and I imagine there are equivalent penalties in the UK.

Not sure... I've had a Pole and a couple of Bulgarians do (excellent) work on my flat, and I certainly didn't ask to check their papers and permits. Should I have done?
Monday 9 June 2008 11.18am
As I understand it, Poles (who joined the EU in 2004) can work freely in the UK. Bulgaria and Romania joined the EU last year and I think the UK has imposed restrictions on workers from those countries until at least the end of 2008. You would need to check details to be sure.
Monday 9 June 2008 11.19am
I'm not an immigration lawyer, but with EU citizens you should be ok as they have a right to work throughout the EU (although I think there are some limitations for the accession states).

A quick Google reveals that hiring illegal workers could hit you with a big fine and/or prison, but my guess is that they are after big employers not just people like us hiring individuals for the odd job here and there:

http://www.caterersearch.com/Articles/2008/01/08/318204/advertising-to-warn-employers-of-penalties-for-hiring-illegal-immigrants.html

From my experience in California, most people are happy hiring them and think the risk of getting caught is pretty low...
Monday 9 June 2008 1.26pm
You're right that that's what they are, though I've heard they're mainly Albanians. The construction market has supposedly taken a dive so they're available for work. I think they're generally looking for other builders who need a labourer, though I'd have asked them if they'd been around at the time I was spending my holidays with a sledgehammer and crowbar.
Monday 9 June 2008 3.28pm
They are indeed casuals waiting to be picked up for day rate jobs....there used to be a group who used to hang around outside McDonalds in Cannon Street a few years ago but the immigration sevices and police dealt with that very quickly.
Monday 9 June 2008 4.19pm
Carmenes/OP - you are presumably fine using these people (should you so wish). It is employing them that is a problem for the employer; as they are self-employed it appears you would not be employing them.
Monday 9 June 2008 5.07pm
Oops, double posted, sorry.
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