Employers and HR directors of businesses that hold a UK Sponsor Licence have many duties and responsibilities set out by the home office. The broadest of these is to ‘comply with UK law’.
Of course, all employers, indeed all citizens are compelled to comply with the laws of the country. However, unlike other employers, if a UK Sponsor Licence holder is found not in compliance with UK laws, they may have their licence downgraded, suspended, or revoked.
Sponsor Licence holders’ duties and responsibilities are contained in the Tiers 2 and 5: guidance for sponsors (SG).
Sponsor Licence holders must make sure they fully comply with UK employment law. This includes (but is not limited to), the following:
- ensuring your organisation adheres to the statutory rights granted to employees. These include (but again, not limited to); being paid the National Minimum Wage, holiday pay, maternity, and paternity leave, and being allowed a trade union representative to attend a disciplinary hearing with you.
- complying with the Equality Act 2010 and not discriminating on the grounds of the nine protected characteristics.
- keeping employees’ safe by complying with the principles of the Health and Safety At Work etc. Act 1974.
- understanding and working within obligations stated in the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of employment) Regulations 2006 as amended by the Collective Redundancies and Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of employment) (Amendment) Regulations 2014" (TUPE), if the business is transferred.
UK Sponsor Licence holders must ensure that when they issue a Certificate of Sponsorship for a Tier 2 (General) Visa (or any other category), it is to a migrant who is “appropriately qualified, registered or experienced to do the job, or in respect of a Tier 2 (General) migrant, will be, by the time they begin the job
Employers and/or HR directors are not permitted to assign a Certificate of Sponsorship where there is no genuine vacancy. The SG defines a genuine vacancy as one that “requires the job holder to perform the specific duties and responsibilities for the job and meets all of the requirements of the tier and category and does not include dissimilar and/or lower-skilled duties.” In addition, the employer needs to undertake a correctly run Resident Labour Market Test if the position they are issuing the Certificate of Sponsorship for is not on the Shortage Occupation List. An experienced immigration lawyer can help you run the best Resident Labour Market Test, ensuring you are compliant with the Home Office procedure.
The SG states that an employer must “hold suitable planning permission or Local Planning Authority consent to run their type/class of business at their trading address (where this is a Local Authority requirement).”
You will require planning permission if you wish to:
- build something new
- make a major change to your building, e.g. building an extension
- change the use of your building
Under the following circumstances, planning permission may not be required for building projects as the projects have ‘permitted development rights.’ Examples include:
- industrial premises and warehouses – although certain limits and conditions may apply
- some outdoor signs and advertisements – however, there are special rules surrounding the use of these
- demolition – however, approval to demolish must be obtained from your local planning authority
Other projects might not need planning permission, e.g. projects that will have no impact on your neighbours or the environment. An experienced solicitor can provide you with the best advice and how it will impact on any Immigration law and sponsor licence requirements.
If you are running a food business, you need to be registered with or approved by the relevant food authority to comply with the SG.
Most food businesses, including catering businesses run from home and mobile or temporary premises, such as market stalls and vans are required to be registered. Registration with the environmental health service at your local authority needs to be done 28 days before you open for business.
All premises where food operations are carried out must be registered.
If you make, prepare, or handle food that comes from animals, for example, meat or dairy products, other than for direct sale to the consumer, your premises may need to be approved by the council before you can undertake the activity. A council officer will examine your premises personally and alert you to any reasons why you may not gain approval so you can correct them.
Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Checks
UK Sponsor Licence holders have a duty to only employ a migrant who has had a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, where this is a requirement for the role.
A DBS check, formally known as a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check is required for anyone offered a position in some professions, including solicitors, teachers, accountants, and healthcare professionals. It identifies if the person you are planning to employ has a criminal record.
Keeping abreast of the compliance obligations that come with holding a UK Sponsor Licence can be time-consuming and put considerable pressure on SMEs.
The best way to handle your UK Sponsor Licence duties and responsibilities is to instruct a top London Immigration law firm to manage the entire process for you. Not only can they organise and submit your application for a Sponsor Licence, but they can also issue Certificates of Sponsorship for Tier 2 and 5 visas and input the required information into the Sponsor Management System (SMS) on your behalf.
This allows you the freedom to concentrate on growing your organisation, confident in the knowledge that every aspect of your UK Sponsor Licence duties and responsibilities are being managed by a professional. And if the Home Office does visit your premises, either following prior notification or unannounced, you can have peace of mind that your records are up to date and your business is in full compliance.
OTS Solicitors is one of the most respected immigration law firms in London. By making an appointment with one of our immigration Solicitors, you can be assured of receiving some of the best legal advice available in the UK today. We can assist you with all aspects of Sponsor Licence applications, compliance and renewals.
If you wish to discuss any of the points raised in this blog, please phone our London office on 0207 936 9960
For the best expert legal advice and outcome on your UK immigration application, contact OTS immigration Solicitors on 020 7936 9960 or contact us online.
We are one of the UK’s top firms for immigration Solicitors and civil liberties lawyers. We can advise on a broad range of immigration issues including Appeals and Refusals, Judicial Reviews, Spouse Visas, Student Visas, Work Permit Visas, Indefinite Leave to Remain, EEA Applications, asylum and human rights, British Citizenship, All types of visas, Business Immigration Visas, Entrepreneur Visas and Investor Visas.
Our top immigration Solicitors and lawyers are here to assist you.
Disclaimer: The information and comments on this page/site is made available free of charge and for educational and information purposes only. The information and comments do not amount to and are not intended to be adopted as legal advice to any individual or company. The use of this site should not be a substitute for specific legal advice, which we ask you to see our contact page or call our solicitors on 0207 936 9960.
By using this site you understand that there is no solicitor and client relationship between you/your company and the site owners or the firm. We make every effort to keep the published articles up-to-date and accurate, however the law changes very rapidly and the older the articles on this site, the more likely that the views in it have changed with the development of the law.
Posted on: Friday, 01 September, 2017