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Sponsor License Compliance Service

Your Guide to Pre-Licence and Post-Licence Compliance

Sponsor Licence Compliance

A sponsor licence compliance is a set of rules and regulations that UK organisations must follow when sponsoring non-British nationals to work in the country. These rules are set by the UK Home Office and are designed to ensure that sponsorship licence holders are operating in compliance with the regulations and are fulfilling their sponsor duties.

Sponsor Licence compliance duties

UK sponsor licence holders must comply with a range of sponsor duties, including record keeping, reporting, complying with the sponsor guidance on preventing illegal working and cooperating with the Home Office in any compliance checks or audits.

Record Keeping

UK employers must keep detailed records of all their sponsored workers. According to the Sponsor guidance Appendix D from the Home Office, the main documents you must keep records of are:

o             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.

o             A history of contact details (UK residential address, email, telephone number) of each sponsored migrant worker.

o             A record of the migrant worker’s absence

o             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).

These records must be kept up-to-date and must be available for inspection by the Home Office.

Reporting Duties

UK employers must report any changes to their sponsored workers' employment, such as changes to their job title, salary, or hours of work. Any significant changes to the organisation must be reported, such as mergers or acquisitions. You must report by using the Home Office Sponsor Management System (SMS). There are also certain time limits set for reporting different events and information.

Within 10 working days, you should report:

o             If the migrant worker you’re sponsoring does not show up at work on their first day of work

o             If the migrant worker you’re sponsoring is absent from work for more than 10 working days, without permission

o             If there are changes on the migrant workers you’re sponsoring, for example

o             Change of the employment contract or service contract

o             resignation and dismissal

o             a promotion or change in job title or core duties

o             a decrease in salary from the level stated on their CoS (Certificate of Sponsorship)

o             a change of location of the employment

o             If you stop sponsoring a worker for any reason

o             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:

o             Change of company name or branch of company name

o             Merge, acquisition or change of ownership

o             Stop trading or enter bankruptcy proceedings

o             Significantly change the nature of your business

o             Are convicted of a related offence according to Home Office file Annex L4 of Part 1: Apply for a licence

Right to Work Checks

UK employers must carry out right to work checks on all their employees, including sponsored and un-sponsored workers. This is to prevent illegal working. Make sure that you carry out these checks in accordance with the Home Office guidelines and keep accurate records of the checks you have carried out.

Stay Up to Date

sponsor licence duties and regulations are subject to change, so it is important to stay up-to-date with any changes to the rules and regulations. Make sure that you keep abreast of any changes and adapt your processes accordingly.

Home Office compliance Visits

A Home Office sponsor licence compliance visit is an audit visit conducted by a Home Office official to a UK organisation that is sponsoring non-UK workers. A compliance visit can happen before and after the organisation obtain a sponsor licence. The purpose of the visit is to ensure that the sponsoring organisation is complying with its sponsor duties as a licensed sponsor or able to carry out sponsor duties.

Normally, organisations are given advance notice by the Home Office before a compliance visit occurs. This notification is usually sent by email to the designated key contact or Authorising Officer.

During the compliance visit, the Home Office official may ask to see the organisation's HR documents and processes related to their sponsorship duties, such as employee records, evidence of right-to-work checks, attendance records, and employment contracts. They may also ask to speak with sponsored employees to verify immigration compliance.

Pre-licence compliance

Pre-licence compliance refers to the process of ensuring that an organisation meets the necessary requirements to obtain a sponsor licence from the Home Office in the UK. Before an organisation can sponsor non-UK workers, they must first make a sponsor licence application to the Home Office.

During the pre-licence compliance stage, the organisation must demonstrate that they are genuine businesses operating legally in the UK and have a robust HR systems in place to comply with sponsor duties.

To ensure compliance, the Home Office will review the organisation’s sponsor licence application and may conduct additional checks, such as a compliance visit before making a decision on the sponsor licence application. Failure to comply with the requirements set out by the Home Office can result in a refusal to grant a sponsor licence.

Post-licence compliance

Post-licence compliance refers to the ongoing obligations and responsibilities that an organisation must comply with after obtaining a sponsor licence from the Home Office.

Once an organisation is granted a sponsor licence, they are required to continue to meet the eligibility criteria and comply with the obligations set out by the Home Office. This includes factors such as ensuring that sponsored workers have the right to work in the UK, keeping up-to-date records of sponsored employees, and reporting any changes or updates to the Home Office.

To ensure compliance, organisations must have a robust HR systems in place to monitor and manage their sponsored employees. This includes regular record-keeping and reporting to the Home Office, conducting right-to-work checks, and complying with any other relevant immigration regulations.

Consequences of non-compliance for sponsor licence holders

If non-compliance is identified, the Home Office may take enforcement action, which can include fines for up to £20,000 per illegal worker, sponsor licence downgrade to a B-rating, sponsor licence suspension or revocation. This can have significant implications for the organisation, including the loss of skilled workers and damage to their reputation.

It's crucial for sponsor licence holders to comply with their obligations and implementing effective HR systems to monitor and manage sponsored workers, organisations can avoid these consequences and maintain their sponsor licence.

Sponsor Licence compliance support: How can WorkPermitCloud help?

To comply with sponsor licence duties and prepare for a Home Office Compliance visit, organisations must have the up-to-date HR files and be able to demonstrate a robust HR system in place.  Let us help you to manage a compliant HR process and you focus on your core business. Contact us at info@workpermitcloud.co.uk

WorkPermitCloud Sponsorship compliance HR service

  • Assess to organisation's HR and recruitment systems to comply with sponsorship duties.

  • Recommend correct actions and follow up supports.

  • Conduct Right to Work Checks, Review and/or update Employment Contracts.

  • Support organisations to adopt best practices related to HR policies i.e. Recruitment, Equality, Diversity, Inclusion, Home Working, Flexible Working, Discipline, Grievance Procedures, Working Hours, Pay and Wages, Pension, Leave, Holiday and Sick Pay Policy.

  • Create awareness among employers and employees to record and report Changes of Circumstances.

  • Helping organisations to fulfill their sponsorship duties by using WpcHr.

  • Full training given on how to use the WpcHr.

WorkPermitCloud compliant HR software - WpcHr

Our bespoke HR software – WpcHr is specially designed for sponsor licence holders following UKVI guidance to comply with sponsor duties. It has supported thousands of UK organisations to comply with their sponsor duties and obtained a sponsor licence.

Our WpcHr software service include:

  • Sponsorship Compliance

  • Right to Work Check

  • Recruitment Automation

  • Employee Database

  • Attendance Geo-Location System

  • Leave & Holiday Management

  • Job Rota Management

  • Dashboard Report

  • Mobile App

  • Free HR Consultation

  • Cloud Storage

  • Dedicated Relationship Manager

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Sponsor licence application FAQs

Why do sponsor licence holders need to stay compliant?

It is required by the Home Office that sponsor licence holders must comply with all sponsor duties. Failure of compliance may result in fines for up to £20,000 per illegal worker, sponsor licence downgrade to a B-rating, sponsor licence suspension or revocation.

Once an UK organisation granted a sponsor licence, sponsors must follow their sponsor duties to maintain their sponsor licence, including: Keeping up-to-date records of sponsored workers and their immigration status Reporting any changes to the worker's employment or circumstances to the Home Office Complying with the law on preventing illegal working Co-operating with the Home Office in any compliance checks or audits

A sponsor licence compliance is a set of rules and regulations that UK organisations must follow when sponsoring non-British nationals to work in the country. These rules are set by the UK Home Office and are designed to ensure that sponsorship licence holders are operating in compliance with the regulations and are fulfilling their sponsor duties.

For a UK sponsor license, you'll need to provide documentation of your company's registration, the identities of key employees, proof that you need migrant workers, HR policies and procedures, and proof that you can track and monitor them. In the course of the application procedure, the Home Office may also require supplementary paperwork.

Having a legal business, demonstrating the need for migrant workers, putting in place acceptable HR and compliance procedures, and pledging to follow the sponsor duties outlined by the Home Office are all prerequisites for obtaining a sponsor license in the UK.

The duration of a UK sponsor license is four years. However if the Home Office determines that the group is not upholding its sponsorship obligations or if the organization is discovered to be engaging in any illegal activity, it may be revoked at any moment.

Application completion and case complexity are two variables that can affect how quickly a sponsor license application is processed in the UK. Nevertheless, it usually takes 8 weeks to process an order.

An organization must submit an online application form to the Home Office along with a fee in order to become a licensed sponsor in the UK. The firm must prove during the application process that it is an actual company, that it has a genuine need for migrant labor, and that it has sufficient HR and compliance processes in place.

An organization can sponsor foreign workers to come and work for them in the UK if it has a sponsor licence, which is approval from the UK government. When hiring qualified workers from outside the UK, firms must get a sponsor license from the Home Office.

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