Sponsor Licence reporting duties
Every employer knows how hard it is to obtain a sponsor licence. But it can be just as much of a challenge to keep it. Holding a sponsor licence comes with a great deal of responsibility, at the core of that responsibility are reporting duties.
The basis of your duties
The sponsor licence regime occupies a unique space in immigration law. Your duties and the rules you have to follow are not set out in legislation or in the immigration rules. They are set out in Home Office guidance. The specific guidance document that applies to reporting duties is “Workers and Temporary Workers: guidance for sponsors part 2: sponsor a worker – general information”. This document can be accessed on the Home Office website.
It can be tempting to download or print off a copy of the guidance to refer to, but it is important that you do not do this. The guidance can change with little to no notice. So it can be easy to find yourself in breach of your obligations, if you are not looking at the most recent version.
Your reporting obligations are split into two categories. Changes that you need to report within 10 days and changes that you need to report within 20 days. Below are excerpts from the most recent Home Office guidance, that set out your current duties. In addition to the duties listed below, you must report to the police if your workers are involved in any criminal or terrorist activity.
Changes to report within 10 days
Most reporting obligations fall into this category. They mostly (although not exclusively), relate to changes in the situation of your sponsored workers.
- When a sponsored worker does not start the role for which they are being sponsored. You must provide this information in your report, if you know why they have not attended their first day.
- If a sponsored worker is absent from work for more than 10 consecutive working days, without permission. (The 10 day window for reporting purposes begins on the 10th day of absence).
- At the ending of any sponsored worker's contract for services. Or any relevant professional registration, if it is earlier than shown on their CoS (for example, if the worker resigns or is dismissed).
- When you stop sponsoring a worker for any other reason.
- If there are any significant changes in the sponsored worker’s employment.
- When a sponsored worker’s employment is affected by TUPE or similar protection;
- During any worker’s sponsor changes. But they will remain working for the same employer and in the same employment.
- Where the size or charitable status of your business changes. Such as if you were a large company but you now qualify as a small company. Or you have gained charitable status, or if you were a small company but are now a large company.
One of the more common situations in this list is ‘where there has been any significant changes in the sponsored worker’s employment.” In practice it means that you must report where a sponsored worker’s role changes. To a point where the CoS that you issued them becomes inaccurate, but not so significant that it requires a change of employment applications. Examples of this can include promotions, change in job title or core duties. Where salary level has been reduced, or where their regular place of work changes.
You do not need to report if you increase the salary of one of your sponsored workers.
Changes to report within 20 days
The changes that you are required to report within 20 days all relate to you. As an authorised user, level one or two user, or a key contact, or your business. The current changes that you need to report within 20 days are:
- Changes to your company’s name or the name of any of your branches.
- Selling all or part of your business.
- If you are convicted of an offence that would otherwise have prevented you from being named on the licence.
- Being involved in a merger or are taken over.
- Stopping trading or go into an insolvency procedure.
- If you substantially change the nature of your business.
Consequences of not reporting
Failure to report these changes within the required timeframe can have severe consequences. This can lead to the downgrading, suspension or revocation of your licence.
If you need support in managing your sponsor licence to avoid running afoul of your duties, we would be delighted to support you. We can offer ad-hoc support or retainer packages tailored to your business.
To book a free consultation appointment and discuss your options with a member of our business immigration team, see below.
For more information and the opportunity to ask questions with our lawyers directly. Please come along to our FREE Webinar. Here all things sponsor duties will be covered. From the basics to record keeping to right to work checks. Secure your ticket now using the link below.
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