Sponsor Licence - Management and Compliance
At Anderson Strathern, our specialists are expert in Sponsor Licence compliance and making sure its benefit is maximised. We'll advise the best processes for your business or organisation and assist you throughout.
A Sponsor Licence requires two major activities on the part of the Sponsor Licence holder:
- managing the Sponsor Licence to sponsor workers who require a visa to work in your business or organisation
- complying with the Home Office’s Sponsor Licence rules
Managing your Sponsor Licence
The Sponsor Management System
The Sponsor Management System is the online portal a Sponsor uses to sponsor workers, report mandatory events to the Home Office in respect of the workers they sponsor and to report any changes to their business or organisation.
When applying for a Sponsor Licence a person in the business or organisation will have been nominated as the ‘Level 1 User’. This is the person who has access to the Sponsor Management System to carry out all the actions to sponsor a worker and report mandatory events about a worker as required by the Home Office.
A Sponsor Licence holder can nominate their legal representative as their Level 1 User after a Sponsor Licence has been granted. Rather than worry about operating the Sponsor Management System effectively and reporting all mandatory events as and when required, you can appoint us as your legal representative to do this for you.
How we can help as your Level 1 User:
- Utilise the Sponsor Management System to obtain Certificates of Sponsorship to sponsor a Skilled Worker visa application.
- Report events in respect of a sponsored worker, including being unable to start employment as stated in the Certificate of Sponsorship, periods of absence from employment, changes to the nature of their employment, or that you have stopped sponsoring a worker.
- Report changes to your business or organisation, including mergers, acquisitions or insolvency events that affect the continuation of your licence.
- Apply to renew your licence.
Many businesses and organisations simply do not have the in-house resources or expertise to operate all the various aspects of their licence to maximise its benefit.
We can help by:
- Being nominated as your Level 1 User and carrying out all relevant functions on instruction.
- Providing training or advice to relevant personnel on how to use the Sponsor Management System effectively.
Sponsor Licence Compliance
When the Home Office grant a Sponsor Licence, the sponsor accepts significant responsibilities to fully comply with Immigration law and specifically to comply with their Sponsor Licence duties as set out in the sponsor guidance documents. A failure to follow the duties outlined in the sponsor guidance can lead to action from the Home Office, including the downgrading, suspension or revocation of a Sponsor Licence. The sponsor guidance is updated frequently and is both extensive and complex.
Specific compliance issues include:
- Paying the skilled worker the relevant salary at all times and the worker only performing the job they are sponsored to perform
- Adequately monitoring the skilled worker’s attendance
- Reporting events relevant to the skilled worker to the Home Office within specific timeframes, including unauthorised absences, unpaid leave, changes of employment location, if sponsorship is to be withdrawn
- Reporting events relevant to the business or organisation within specific timeframes, including change of premises, changes of relevant personnel linked to the licence, change to the ownership of the business or organisation
- Record-keeping relevant to the skilled worker including recruitment, start dates, contracts of employment, proof of salary payments, attendance records etc
- Implementing systems to check Right to Work status
The importance of Sponsor Licence compliance
The Home Office is very likely to inspect your business or organisation at some point during the duration of your licence, and specifically at the end of four years when you apply to renew your licence. If it considers you have failed to adequately comply with your licence it can downgrade, suspend or revoke your licence.
When you decided to obtain a Sponsor Licence and sponsor Skilled Workers this was obviously because it was considered necessary for stability and growth. Any action taken against you can have a serious impact on your business operationally and can also lead to reputational damage.
How we can help
- Training for key personnel on the Sponsor Licence system including the key duties to be performed and the procedures to adopt to obtain compliance. We can offer full training packages and refresher training.
- Audits of your existing practices and procedures to provide a report on the level of your compliance and to make recommendations to obtain better compliance
- Advise your organisation on all aspects Sponsor Licence compliance including in relation to specific issues that may arise
- We can also help you challenge action taken against you by the Home Office including decisions to downgrade, suspend or revoke your licence.
Mergers, Acquisitions and Insolvency
A change to the ownership of the business or organisation that holds a Sponsor Licence can have major implications for the either the Sponsor Licence holder or the company or organisation that has acquired or merged with the Sponsor Licence holder.
Whichever side of a merger or acquisition you are on, if a Sponsor Licence is in place and Skilled Workers employed, expert legal advice should be sought on what action will be necessary based on the nature of the change of ownership.
How we can help:
- We can advise on the consequences that a merger or acquisition has for the existing Sponsor Licence and whether a new Sponsor Licence must be applied for
- We can advise on the specific reporting that must be made to the Home Office by the parties involved in the merger or acquisition
- We can advise on the specific processes for transferring sponsored workers from the old Sponsor Licence to the new Sponsor Licence
Speak to our Sponsor Licence specialists today
If you’re looking for Sponsor Licence advice, get in touch with our experts today.
Contact us by filling out the enquiry form or emailing Mark below.