Sponsor Licence Holder Duties

April 5

Sponsor Licence Holder Duties


OTB Legal

Sponsor Licence Holder Duties

Sponsor licences will now be granted indefinitely and any licence due to renew on or after 6th April 2024 will be extended automatically. If your licence is due to expire before 6th April 2024, you will still need to renew it, but you should get a refund of the fee.

Whilst this is welcome news, it does create some risks for sponsor licence holders. The renewal window used to provide a helpful reminder to review the licence, and make sure that it was up to date. Without a renewal, there is a risk that licences could be allowed to drift, or even be forgotten about altogether.

There are Five Key Sponsor Licence Holder Duties

There are five broad duties that you must always be aware of. These are;

  • Reporting
  • Record keeping
  • Complying with immigration laws including the sponsor guidance
  • Complying with wider UK law, such as employment law for example
  • Not engaging in behaviour or actions that are not conductive to the public good.

We have webinars and blogs relating to these on our website and YouTube channel.

We have highlighted some key points to keep in mind.

Your sponsor duties apply for as long as you have your licence, even if you are not sponsoring any workers

In the past, if you did not renew your sponsor licence then it would lapse, and your sponsor duties would end automatically. That will no longer happen, so you must continue to maintain compliance even if you are not currently sponsoring any workers.  It is possible to surrender a licence if you no longer need it.

Not all of your reporting duties are about sponsored workers

Reports relating to the worker tend to be easier to remember. However, changes that apply to the business as a whole are often forgotten. This could be if you move to new premises, or if you change from being a small to being a medium or large sponsor for example.

Changes to the ownership of the business, such as a sale of the majority shareholding, or even a change in the existing corporate structure may need to be reported. In some cases you may have to apply for a new sponsor licence.  

Often, decisions are made on these types of issue without decision makers realising that this could affect the sponsor licence. That is why it is important that you have an Authorising Officer at a senior level in the organisation who is aware of the issues.

Don’t forget your key personnel

You must have a current employee or director appointed to the three key roles on the sponsor licence- the Authorising Officer, the Key Contact and a Level One User. One person can hold all three positions. However, if that person leaves the business or is on leave for an extended period of time, you must appointment someone new as a matter of urgency.

You must also deactivate anyone with their own login details to the SMS when they leave. And remember, you must not share log in details for the sponsor management system. If your level one user has left, there is a paper form that you can use to get a new login.

Be Proactive 

If you realise that your sponsor licence has drifted, it is important to deal with it proactively.  If your licence is revoked, you will have a cooling off period of 12 months before you can apply for a new one, and even then, it will be more difficult to obtain a new licence in light of a previous revocation.

Get Advice

It is important that you understand what you need to do before submitting reports on the sponsorship management system, particularly if you are making reports late. Some changes might have unexpected consequences. For example, if there have been changes in ownership then you might have to apply for a new licence.

At OTB Legal we have expert solicitors who can help you with sponsor licence compliance. If you need help, get in contact with us. We can offer a flexible service that is right for you and your business.

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