20 October 2017 #Immigration
Tier 2 sponsors are required to fulfil certain duties throughout the duration of their sponsor licence. Failure to comply with any of the sponsor duties, is likely to lead to a licence being suspended or in a worst-case scenario revoked and sponsored workers seeing their leave curtailed.
One of the common areas of immigration compliance risk relates to the record keeping duty. HR systems for maintaining personnel records must be particularly robust and available for inspection at short notice. The employer must retain the relevant documents listed in Appendix D. These can be retained as paper copies or in electronic form.
Contact details for sponsored workers
UKVI imposes a duty on sponsors to maintain a history of a sponsored worker’s contact details (UK residential address, telephone number, mobile telephone number). These details must always be kept up to date and if required, must be shared with UKVI. This might be for example when you stop sponsoring a worker and need to report this via the SMS – you would be asked to inform UKVI of the worker’s last recorded residential address and contact number.
Monitoring sponsored workers attendance
Employers are also required to maintain a record of a sponsored worker’s absence (including sickness absence, holiday and maternity). They must have robust HR systems in place that let them track and record a worker’s attendance and in the event a worker is absent for more than 10 consecutive working days without permission, this must be reported within 10 working days of the 10th day of the absence.
Evidence of right to work
We have discussed this at length in previous articles and take the opportunity to reiterate the importance of carrying out prescribed document checks in accordance to Home Office guidance. Appendix D mentions that copies of the worker’s passport biodata page and visa pages/BRP must be retained and these must demonstrate their entitlement to work for the employer.
Evidence of carrying out the resident labour market test
We are seeing more and more cases of UKVI requesting evidence confirming that the resident labour market test was carried out before a role was offered to a migrant. Those in charge of recruitment must ensure that adverts meet UKVI requirements and screenshots of online adverts contain the requisite information in line with sponsor guidance and Appendix D.
Ensuring continued compliance
We recommend you test your HR systems regularly by carrying out audits of your personnel files to ensure you are fulfilling your record keeping duties. A compliance visit can take place announced or unannounced so your records should be easily accessible and ready for inspection at short notice.