It is the duty of the UK-based hiring company, which holds a Sponsor License, to prevent any unauthorised immigrant from working for the company and obtaining employment in the country. To remain in conformity with the Immigration and Asylum Act, the company must verify each applicant’s eligibility to work in the UK and collect, maintain, and store paperwork proving that eligibility.
What Is a Sponsor Licence?
Businesses can hire immigrants from outside the UK with the help of sponsor licences, but these licences also come with a variety of obligations for employers, some of which may be very onerous.
Any violation of a sponsor licence’s duties may result in a decline in user rating, the licence being suspended or revoked, and/or a civil penalty. As a result, migrants who are presently employed run the danger of losing it.
Some of the most significant sponsor compliance areas are listed below:
Monitoring immigration status and avoiding working illegally
In order to ensure that potential workers have the legal authorization to work in the UK, all firms are required to do initial right-to-work checks on them. It will be your duty to prove that you have the internal procedures and controls required to carry out these inspections.
A person’s suitability for work can be determined by:
Examining the applicant’s original papers; alternatively, using the Home Office’s online verification facility if the employee has provided you with their share code.
Employers are required to determine an employee’s eligibility to work if a right-to-work check reveals that the person’s authorization to reside and work in the UK is temporary. These follow-up investigations are designed to discourage people from working illegally or overstaying their visas.
Keep a record of employee information
Sponsors must guarantee that the Home Office may easily get this information in response to a request by maintaining thorough records on all sponsored personnel they recruit.
You must be able to show that you have the necessary procedures in place to protect copies of the passports, biometric residence permits (BRPs), and visas of your employees. All records pertaining to the immigrants you have sponsored must be retained until the following dates:
Despite the fact that you ceased sponsoring the immigrant less than a year ago, the compliance officer has assessed and authorised them.
It has been a year since the day your sponsorship expired.
You should save any documents you submitted with your sponsor licence application for the life of your licence. Both electronic and physical copies of documents may be kept on file, but any additional legal requirements for data storage must be followed.
Keeping a check and monitoring your migrant worker
You must demonstrate that your internal procedures lessen the possibility of recruiting a migrant who is not authorised to work in the UK in order to demonstrate that you have the essential measures in place to track the immigration status of any immigrant you sponsor.
You must demonstrate that you keep up-to-date records of your workers’ addresses and that you have a system in place to monitor the expiration dates of the visas you sponsor for them. Additionally, you should put mechanisms in place to ensure that the contact information you retain on file for your employees is accurate and current.
Keep thorough records.
The ability to keep up-to-date records on all of your sponsored personnel is one of your responsibilities as a sponsor.
You must be able to show that you maintain comprehensive personnel files for each employee, including absence logs, pay records, and paperwork related to the hiring of migrant workers. Additionally, historical information, such as past contact information for your employees, should be preserved for the appropriate amount of time.
What standards would you establish for reporting?
Licenced sponsors must use their log-in information to the Home Office’s sponsorship management system to notify the Home Office within ten working days of any substantial changes to their business or the circumstances of the sponsored migrants. A sponsor can handle daily sponsorship responsibilities and tasks using the sponsorship management system, an online application, including reporting changes to a migrant’s circumstances.
When you must notify the Home Office?
Whenever the sponsored employee you hired skips their first day of work and provides justification.
The immigrant you supported for employment had their status revoked earlier than indicated on their Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS).
If you have another goal, you cease supporting the immigrant.
Your sponsored employee misses more than 10 working days without justification.
The conditions of your sponsored employee may have changed, including their pay or position title, their primary responsibilities, or their workplace.
Through the online Sponsorship Management System, sponsors can inform sponsors of these changes.
Does your company abide by UK labour law?
As a licenced sponsor, one of your duties is to adhere to all applicable UK employment laws. You must show that the sponsored immigrants will do their jobs honestly and get all employment benefits to which they are legally entitled, such as paid vacation and sick time. Any additional employment requirements, such as parks and housing must be stated.
If it is found that the current sponsor is engaging in actions that are not in the interests of the general public, the Home Office will take the necessary compliance measures. The degree of compliance will depend on the seriousness of the behaviour or deed.
To avoid any accusations of bias, everyone should undergo screening, regardless of background or nation. If it is shown that a Sponsor Licence holder has employed someone who is not authorised to perform the required task, they might be subject to a civil penalty of up to £20,000. Employing an illegal worker while being aware that you are doing so is against the law, and you might face steep penalties and perhaps up to two years in jail.
The team of immigration specialists at A Y & J Solicitors frequently assists businesses with simulated audits to pinpoint areas for improvement in the administration of your sponsor licence. Please get in touch with one of our knowledgeable immigration attorneys to learn more about our services.
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