The return of the sponsor licence inspection visits?
The Home Office may conduct sponsor licence inspection visits on work premises in instances where an application for a first sponsor licence is made or when a sponsor licence is being renewed. During the pandemic, many employers have put most of their focus into actually keeping afloat with many employees being furloughed. The UK government sponsor licence rules have made allowances for these struggles, such as not imposing restrictions on supplementary work carried out, allowing reductions in pay and working from home. Compliance visits were subsequently suspended during the first lockdown and again in December 2020.
With lockdown having ended and shops reopening, many workplaces are thinking about whether employees should return to work and when. This poses the question, when will the Home Office compliance inspection visits be back in full swing?
What happens during sponsor licence compliance visits?
Visits by the Home Office can be announced or unannounced, which is why it is useful to have all documentation in order in case an inspection is made.
During compliance visits, the Home Office are checking the following:
• that a licensed sponsor is meeting their sponsorship obligations
• that a prospective sponsor has the necessary systems and procedures in place to meet their sponsorship obligations
• the accuracy of information given on the sponsor licence application
• whether the sponsor is complying with their obligations to prevent illegal working
• that the potential sponsor has the necessary human resource (HR) systems in place to make sure that, if they are licensed, they will be able to carry out their sponsor duties
• the number of migrants they want to sponsor is appropriate to the size and nature of the organisation
• whether there is any evidence that suggests the potential sponsor would pose a threat to immigration control
• any areas of concern that Sponsor Operations have identified as requiring further inspection relating to the potential sponsor’s application, for example, verifying the original documents they failed to submit with their application
• if the potential sponsor has applied for Tier 2, that they will genuinely be able to offer employment that meets the Tier 2 requirements at the correct skill and pay level
Generally, the Home Office will review documents and files to check the above points. They often have discussions with key people within the company such as the authorising officer and level 1 user along with the migrant worker.
Should you have any queries regarding the above information or if you require assistance with your corporate, employment or immigration matter, please get in touch with a legal professional at Hudson McKenzie via email at email@example.com or by telephone +44(0) 20 3318 5794.
The information provided does not amount to legal advice