The Home Office will audit all sponsors on an on-going basis. This can take the form of a pre-licence assessment as part of the initial licence application process, or a post-licence compliance audit. During a pre-licence assessment a compliance officer will check that you have the necessary HR systems and procedures in place to ensure that you will be able to carry out your sponsorship duties.
A post-licence compliance audit will entail a review of your HR systems and procedures and a selection of personnel files in order to ensure that you are carrying out your sponsorship duties. The Home Office may also interview a number of your migrant workers as part of the process. If you are found to be non-compliant, your licence could be downgraded until you can demonstrate that the required procedures have been implemented, or in the worst-case scenario, the licence can be revoked.
Monitoring Immigration Status and Prevention of Illegal Working
You have a duty to prevent illegal working by carrying out on-going ‘right to work’ document checks to confirm whether a person has the right to work in the UK. If you correctly carry out the document checks, you will have a legal excuse against payment of a civil penalty if you are found to be employing an illegal worker.
Maintaining Migrant Contact Details
You must keep a record of each sponsored worker’s contact details in the UK. These details must be kept up to date and you should be able to demonstrate that you have a procedure in place to ensure that any amendments are documented in a timely manner.
You must be able to evidence that you have robust recruitment practices in place to demonstrate that your company is able to offer a genuine vacancy.
You must be able to demonstrate that you have a good record-keeping procedure in place to ensure that you retain the required documentation relating to all sponsored workers, and that you do not erroneously employ/ continue to employ any migrant that does not hold the correct immigration permission to allow them to undertake employment in the UK.
As a sponsor, you will have a number of reporting duties. You must inform the Home Office if a sponsored worker fails to turn up for their first day of work, if their employment status changes in any way, e.g. a significant change in role/ salary or if their employment ends early, e.g. they resign or are dismissed. You must also report changes related to the business structure and location.
Please contact us to discuss all aspects of sponsor compliance further.