Duties as a Skilled Worker Licence Sponsor
What are the main duties once an organisation obtain a skilled worker sponsorship licence?
Once your sponsorship licence is obtained, there are duties that the sponsor needs to follow which is required by the Home Office. As a licensed sponsor, it is important to comply with these in order to maintain your sponsor licence. If you fail to comply with the duties, your sponsorship licence may be suspended, revoked, or withdrawn.
According to “Workers and Temporary Workers: guidance for sponsors part 3”, your duties are as follows:
1. Reporting duties
You must report to the Home Office of certain events and information about your company and the migrant workers you’re sponsoring by using the Sponsor Management System (SMS). There are also certain time limits set for reporting different events and information.
Within 10 working days, you should report:
- If the migrant worker you’re sponsoring does not show up at work on their first day of work
- If the migrant worker you’re sponsoring is absent from work for more than 10 working days, without permission
- If there are changes on the migrant workers you’re sponsoring, for example
- Change of the employment contract or service contract
- resignation and dismissal
- a promotion or change in job title or core duties
- a decrease in salary from the level stated on their CoS (Certificate of Sponsorship)
- a change of location of the employment
- If you stop sponsoring a worker for any reason
- If your company size changes from small to large or vice versa
Within 20 working days, you should report:
If there are changes in your organisation. Such as:
- Change of company name or branch of company name
- Merge, acquisition or change of ownership
- Stop trading or enter bankruptcy proceedings
- Significantly change the nature of your business
- Are convicted of a related offence according to Home Office file Annex L4 of Part 1: Apply for a licence
2. Record-keeping duties
You should keep records of certain documents for every sponsored migrant worker, either in paper or electronic form. According to the Sponsor guidance Appendix D from the Home Office, the main documents you must keep records of are:
- A copy of each sponsored migrant worker’s passport, Biometric Residence Permit (BRP), National Insurance (NI) number, evidence of the date of entry to the UK (where relevant) and their proof of address.
- A history of contact details (UK residential address, email, telephone number) of each sponsored migrant worker. This must be kept up to date at all times.
- A record of the migrant worker’s absence
- Any documents relating to your sponsored migrant workers, or the operation of your company that are relevant to assessing your compliance with your sponsoring responsibilities (e.g. documents related to recruitment practise, HR system processes etc).
If you keep records in electronic form, you need to make sure that all the important sections of the document are accessible. The record-keeping must meet all legal requirements set by Home Office.
There are more advantages to keeping records electronically than paper, it saves storage space and it is easier to update any information. In order to do a good job on record-keeping duties, a robust HR management system must be implemented for your company. Crucially, all employees’ information must be kept up to date. If an employer fails to attain a proper HR system, the sponsor license is at risk of being suspended.
In addition to the two main duties listed above, you must also comply with Immigration law and wider UK law, and not perform an conduct in a manner that is not conducive to the wider public good, for more details please click here.
Having a seamless HRMS software is essential
A business’s HR system is still regulated and checked even after a sponsor license is granted. As a licensed sponsor, you must be prepared to have all necessary checks in place and follow the duties.
For example, one restaurant failed to meet the Home Office guidelines, because they did not have a robust system in place to meet duties in relation to maintaining migrant contact details. Many more similar cases failed to comply with sponsor duties due to the improperly kept nature of HR files. This demonstrates the importance of having a robust HR system.
At WorkPermitCloud Limited, we have been working closely with hundreds of small and medium enterprises. Our robust HR system is designed based on the sponsor licence guidance from the Home Office. With our support, many businesses have managed to comply with the rules and regulations mentioned by the immigration office.
Overall, it's important to remember that having an up-to-date documents records and reporting certain events and information within the set days are the main duties to comply with in order to maintain a license.