Sponsor Licence – Duties & Obligations
Once your Company has a Sponsor Licence there are a number of Sponsor Licence Duties and Obligations that you must follow. If you fail to meet your Sponsor Duties and Obligations then you could face a fine and have your Sponsor Licence downgraded to a B-Rating, which prevents you from sponsoring any new migrant workers until you have your A-Rating reinstated.
Right To Work Checks
All employers, including those who do not hold a Sponsor Licence, are required to undertake Right To Work Checks to ensure that employees have the legal right to work in the UK. Employers must be able to suitably evidence that all employees have the legal right to work in the UK.
Suitable evidence would usually include:
- a copy of the biometrics page of the employee’s passport. For British Citizens this is sufficient evidence of their right to work.
- for non-UK Citizens the employer should retain a copy of their visa. This can sometimes be in the form of a vignette in the passport (particularly for those holding ILR issued some years ago). More usually this will be a copy of the migrants Biometric Residence Permit (BRP).
- if that employee has submitted a new application before their current visa has expired then the employer can submit a Status Verification Check using the Employer Checking Service and the Home Office will provide the employer with a document confirming the employee’s right to work. This should be repeated every six months.
- for EU Citizens, the employer should access the employee’s status in the EU Settlement Scheme website and retain a copy on file.
Sponsor Licence Duties & Obligations
Employers who hold a Sponsor Licence and have sponsored a worker, usually under the Tier 2 General visa category, the following duties and obligations must be followed:
- report any changes to the employee’s work conditions to the Home Office. Typical changes might be to the job title, salary, working hours or location. Any changes made must be within the same SOC (Standard Occupational Classification) – if the new role falls within a different SOC then a new CoS must be obtained and assigned and a new Tier 2 General visa application must be submitted.
- report unauthorised absences.
- retain documents that were used to support the CoS (Certificate of Sponsorship), such as advertisements and CVs of applicants where a Resident Labour Market test was required.
- retain evidence of the applicant’s residential address. This can be a bill or rental agreement and new evidence should be obtained on a regular basis (every 4 to 6 months) even if the Sponsored Worker has not changed their residential address.
These are a basic summary of the Sponsor Licence Duties and Obligations. If you need further information or support then please get in touch. We have significant experience in this area and represent and manage the Sponsor Licence for a wide range of Corporate Clients, from start-ups to multi-billion dollar multi-nationals.
What Happens if a Sponsor’s Duties and Obligations Are Not Met?
Where a Sponsor fails to meet their Duties and Obligations or cannot evidence that they have undertaken their Right to Work Checks then the Home Office can downgrade the Sponsor Licence from an A-Rating to a B-Rating, issue a fine and instigate an Action Plan. It can take many months to get the A-Rating reinstated and during that time the Sponsor will be unable to Sponsor any new workers.
For serious breaches of Sponsor Licence Duties and Obligations the Home Office can revoke the Sponsor Licence and the Sponsor will lose the ability to continue employing any current Sponsored migrant workers.