Complying with sponsor licence duties
The Home Office may carry out regular visits to the organisation to ensure that the sponsor is complying with their duties. If the Home Office believes that the sponsor is not carrying out their duties they may impose penalties on the sponsor, this can include:
- Reducing your certificate of sponsorship allocation
- Downgrading your licence
- Revoking your sponsor licence
- Cancelling the permission of your current sponsored workers to remain in the UK
As a licence sponsor your duties are reporting, record-keeping, complying with Immigration Laws, complying with wider UK laws and engaging in good behaviour that is not detrimental to the interests of the wider public. Therefore, it is important to comply with the duties in order to maintain your sponsorship licence.
Sponsors are under a duty to report to the Home Office, via the Sponsorship Management System (SMS), certain activities and information in relation to the sponsored worker and the organisation itself. The sponsor must report the following events within 10 workings days:
- The sponsored worker does not show up for their first day of work
- The sponsored worker is off from work for 10 days in a row without permission
- The sponsored employees employment contract has terminated early
- If there are any significant changes to the employment contract
The sponsor must also report in 20 working days if there have been any significant changes to the organisation such as change of company name; selling all or part of the business; whether the sponsor is involved in any mergers or acquisitions; going into an insolvency procedure, and the nature of the business has substantially changed.
As a sponsor you must keep certain documents for each employee you sponsor, Appendix D of the Sponsor Licence Guidance sets out the documents that must be kept and the duration they should be kept for. These documents may be stored electronically or in paper form and must be made available to the Home Office to view when requested.
All documents that were provided as part of the application to obtain a sponsor licence must be kept throughout the duration of your licence.
Any documents relating to workers you have sponsored must be kept throughout the sponsorship period until one year has passed from the end date of the sponsorship or until the date a compliance officer has examined and approved the termination of the sponsored worker.
Complying with immigration laws
As a licenced sponsor, you must comply with all the UK immigration laws and the Worker and Temporary Worker sponsor guidance. In order to satisfy this requirement, sponsors must:
- Only employer workers that are appropriate for the job and you are satisfied that they are able to fill the role
- Keep any documents that confirm the worker is appropriate for the job
- Not assign a certificate of sponsorship where there is no genuine vacancy
- Only assign a certificate of sponsorship to those that will meet the immigration requirements
- Only allow the worker to take on the roles that are permitted as part of their sponsorship
- Disclose if they are wishing to assign a certificate of sponsorship to a member of family of anyone within the organisation
Complying with wider UK laws
As well as complying with the UK immigration laws, licenced sponsors must comply with wider UK laws such as any employment laws and any specific legislation in relation to your particular business such as being registered with the relevant food authority if the business is related to food. Licenced sponsors must be complying with the UK laws in order to be in compliance with their sponsorship duties.
Engaging in good behaviour
The Home Office will not licence organisations that are behaving in a manner that is detrimental to the wider public, these can include but are not limited to:
- Adopting hatred or inter-community division
- Discriminating other groups of individuals on the basis of their sex, race, disability, age etc.
How can NA Law Solicitors help?
Non-compliance with the sponsorship duties can result in the Home Office taking action by potentially revoking your current sponsorship licence. This can have a significant and detrimental effect on your business and your employees. At NA Law Solicitors we can provide you with guidance to avoid this. We at NA Law solicitors, understand the business process disruptions that may have been caused due to Covid-19. To support you, we can carry out a remote sponsor compliance review if requested. Contact us for a consultation.
Please contact us for any queries and support on your sponsorship licence duties.