Welcome back to the second part of our series on UK Tier 2 and 5 Sponsor Licences. In this article, we explain the duties and responsibilities of a Sponsor Licence holder. It is imperative that licence holders understand sponsor duties and responsibilities because if compliance is not met, the Home Office can suspend or even revoke your Sponsor Licence. Not only can this lead you to losing talented employees, but those employees may also be forced to leave the UK if they cannot obtain a position with another licenced employer.
There is little doubt that companies who hold a Tier 5 or Tier 2 Sponsor Licence benefit from working with an expert immigration lawyer. Not only can they advise on compliance requirements, but they can also update you on changes in immigration law and perform six or twelve-month mock audits to ensure your organisation's HR systems are functioning as they should.
If your application for a Sponsor Licence is approved, you will receive an A-rating. This allows you to start issuing certificates of sponsorship so you can recruit staff from outside the EEA.
If you do not meet your sponsor duties, your licence may be downgraded to a B-rating. If this occurs, your ability to issue certificates of sponsorship will be suspended until you make the improvements required to bring your rating back up to an A. The Home Office will issue an action plan, which if not implemented could mean that your licence is revoked.
The details of the sponsor duties and responsibilities are contained in the Sponsor Guidance (SG) Tiers 2 and 5 of the Points-Based System (SG).
It helps to understand the aims of the various duties and responsibilities when creating the policies and procedures to meet compliance. The SG notes that the aims of the sponsor duties are to:
The following are the key priorities that an organisation must consider and be able to demonstrate to comply with the duties and responsibilities of a Sponsor Licence holder:
In addition, UK Tier 2 and 5 Sponsor Licence holders must co-operate fully with the Home Office and make themselves and their HR systems available if an inspection visit is made.
Complying with Sponsor Licence duties and responsibilities is a serious matter. Employers thinking about employing talent from outside the EEA need to consider whether they have the necessary time, knowledge and HR systems required to meet compliance. An experienced immigration lawyer is worth their weight in gold when it comes to updating you on changes to the SG and helping you comply with your duties and responsibilities.
In our next blog, we will be discussing the how to issue Certificates of Sponsorship and the factors you must meet before you can recruit someone from overseas to fill a particular position.
The team at Reiss Edwards consists of some of London's leading immigration lawyers. If you require expert legal advice on obtaining a UK Tier 2 and 5 Sponsor Licence, please call us on 020 3744 2797.