Don’t take your Tier 2 Sponsor Licence for Granted
Many employers in the UK obtain Tier 2 sponsor licences to employ skilled non-EEA workers to fill certain jobs in the UK that cannot be filled by settled EEA residents.
UK Visas and Immigration has recently become a lot more stringent on checking that employers are complying with the terms of their sponsor licences. It is recommended that holders of the Tier 2 sponsor licence regularly audit management of their licence.
A recent court case highlighted the danger of an employer not doing so. The case of Raj and Knoll Ltd v Secretary of State  EWHC 1329 (Admin) (14 May 2015) illustrated the dangers of non-compliance, from both an employer’s point of view and from the perspective of the workers they employ.
In this case, the employer sponsored 11 workers at three nursing homes in Kent under a Tier 2 licence. When the SSHD carried out different visits to check that the employer was complying with its sponsorship duties, it led to Tier 2 Sponsor Licence Suspension. Some of the reasons for the suspension included failure to retain copies of qualifications, shortlists or interview records regarding the sponsored workers’ recruitment, providing an incorrect work address for the migrants, and failure to provide sufficient evidence of the migrants’ right to work.
The employer’s licence was then revoked as it failed to correct the faults set out in the SSHD suspension letter. The employer took the SSHD to court with a judicial review challenge, but the court found in favour of the SSHD. Because of Raj and Knoll’s failure as an employer to comply with the Tier 2 sponsor licence guidance, those 11 sponsored workers will now have they employment terminated and will have to leave the UK unless they find a new sponsor.
The case serves as a caution to any employer who holds a Tier 2 sponsor licence to ensure that they comply with the guidance set.
Suspension isn’t necessarily the end of the road
However, if you have had your sponsor licence revoked, it may not necessarily mean that you can’t get it re-instated. YDVISAS has been successful in getting clients’ Tier 2 sponsor licences re-instated in recent months, even though they had no right to appeal.
In each case, following visits to the business, the Home Office had a concern with the genuine vacancy requirement, and was also concerned with the sponsor’s general duties, migrant tracking, recruitment and record keeping.
In preparation for a pre-action protocol for Judicial Review, YDVISAS assisted the business in challenging the decision. YDVISAS gathered all possible evidence against the Home Office’s revocation decision to demonstrate why the revocation of the licence was unlawful and unreasonable. The work carried out by YDVISAS not only resulted in the re-instatement of the licence, but also safeguarded the sponsored employees’ jobs.
While the best advice is to comply with the guidance set out for your Tier 2 sponsor licence, if you do have your sponsor licence suspended, contact YDVISAS for assistance.