It has come to our attention that these visits are becoming more frequent. Earlier this week, one of our clients faced an unexpected visit from Home Office Officials who wanted to carry out a spot check to ensure that the client was maintaining appropriate records, which they are required to keep and maintain for Sponsor Licence holders, as well as checking for illegal working.
The Officials interviewed the Authorising Officer who was also the Company’s HR Manager extensively. Whilst some of the questions posed were in relation to what sort of records were being kept, questions were also in relation to the structure of the organisation, the migrant workers’ job titles, their respective duties, their salaries and working hours. The Official also had a look around the premises to see what sort of business was conducted there, but could not comment on this much as she herself did not have much knowledge of the business that our client was in. Separate interviews were also conducted with the Tier 2 migrant workers to check if the information given by the Authorising Officer corroborated with the answers they gave.
The point is that minor discrepancies, and even a simple oversight, can potentially result in the Licence being downgraded from an A grade to a B grade resulting in having to comply with an Action Plan to remedy any breaches. Alternatively if serious breaches are found, an errant company might be fined or worse have the Licence revoked. The latter would mean that the company could potentially lose valuable members of staff and would also affect the migrant workers as their leave to remain would be curtailed. The migrant workers would then only have 60 days to either find an alternative sponsor or find an alternative visa to enable them to remain in the UK.
It is therefore imperative that Sponsor Licence holders pay very careful attention to their duties and be compliant from the outset. Sponsor Licence holders must have adequate records and systems to update these records in place as you never know when you may have an unexpected visit from the Home Office.
Therefore, are you sure that you are complying with your record keeping duties as a Sponsor Licence holder? If you would like advice in relation to whether you are compliant or you wish us to carry out a mock audit, then we would be happy to do so. Please do not hesitate to contact Dhruti Thakrar on 020 7691 4000 or email Dhruti.firstname.lastname@example.org
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