Upholding your responsibilities as a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence is no simple task and with the recent introduction of new Immigration Rules it is more important than ever for the employers of an international workforce to ensure that they are compliant with the new Tier 2 guidance for sponsors.
Although the UK regulations for Tier 2 Sponsor Licence holders can seem daunting, there are in fact simple ways in which your responsibilities can be approached in order to ensure that your procedures and records are up to scratch:
Check your company and Key Personnel data regularly on the SMS – Company and Key Personnel data must be kept up-to-date at all times and any change reported to the Home Office within 10 working days of taking place.
Ensure that employee contact information is up to date – It is a good idea to have a process is in place which catches and records changes in employee data, such as scheduled calendar reminders asking employees to review their personal data at certain points throughout the year.
- Check that all changes to company or employee information have been reported to the Home Office – Occurrences such as a company merger or acquisition, or an employee promotion or increase in salary must be reported to the Home Office within 10 days of taking place.
- Ensure that you are retaining the correct documentation in the correct manner – Check Appendix A of the sponsor guidance for the list of records which every compliant sponsor must keep on file.
- Continue to conduct Right to Work checks on all new and potential employees – There are new rules surrounding how these checks should be made in accordance with best practice so make sure that you are aware of them.
The above checks are a great way to begin an audit on your compliance systems and data in order to prepare against a surprise visit from Home Office officials. The government aims to visit every sponsor licence holder at least once during the validity of the licence to spot check its compliance. Be warned: officials are likely to turn up unannounced.
Should a sponsor be found neglecting its duties as a Tier 2 sponsor licence holder the consequences can be severe and include the loss of your licence, prosecution or even both.