Steps employers should take to comply with immigration laws
It is important that UK based employers are in a position to tackle immigration issues to avoid monetary penalties and criminal sanctions. We have summarised the steps all employers should take to comply with the immigration laws.
1. Conduct an annual audit
An immigration audit should be conducted by someone other than the person responsible for issuing CoS . Any errors/discrepancy should be pointed out, and changes should be initialed.
2. Incorporate Immigration Policies in Handbooks
Ensure immigration policies are in place, up-to-date, and followed. Develop and disseminate an immigration-related notification and response policy so all employees know how to handle unannounced government visits, including site visits from the Home Office.
3. Audit employee files
Employers are required to maintain a public access file for each Tier 2 worker and must make the file available for examination by the Home Office. The public access files for most employers must contain:
- A certified copy of UK visa along with certified copies of the details page of passport and front/back covers;
- Documentation relating to the salary being paid to the migrant worker;
- Documentation used to established the prevailing wage for the position e.g. the relevant Code of Practice;
- A copy of the internal notice of posting given to the union/employees;
- Details of the migrant worker’s home address including any previous address they have lived at in the UK;
- Details of the migrant worker’s phone number/s including a mobile number.
4. Cancel a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS), as necessary
If an Employer terminates an Tier 2 worker or the worker resigns before the end of the period of authorised admission, the employer should notify the Home Office by updating the Sponsor Management System (SMS).
5. Budget Time and expenditure for Immigration
Employers need to allow sufficient lead time and budget for receiving the proper immigration approvals prior to sending an employee on a work assignment abroad. The time to consult your immigration lawyer is when a candidate is in consideration for a transfer, not when the candidate is already working in another country without authorisation.