Tier 2 Sponsor Licence – Be Compliant & Secure your Licence
The Home Office is tightening its handling of the Tier 2 Sponsor Licence programme. In practical terms, what this means is that Licence holders are being required to conduct their administration and oversight of their licence to a higher level of accuracy than was previously the case. It means that there has never been a greater need to ensure that all aspects of the record keeping in connection with Tier 2 employees are kept comprehensively up to date.
Failure to satisfy compliance officers that all activity is in line with the precise terms of the licence may result in a suspension of the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS). It may also make an employer liable to a civil prosecution – a graduated set of penalties applies depending on how seriously the inspectors deem any breach of the rules to be. Needless to say, these are likely to be hugely disruptive to the organisation and the employees involved.
No room for error
With grounds for appeal now strictly limited, there is no room for error when it comes to the administration of a Tier 2 licence. There is simply no alternative but to be wholly compliant in order to secure your licence. The degree of scrutiny, and the extent to which inspectors now insist on the letter of the law being upheld mean that a Tier 2 Licence is not something that should ever be taken for granted.
Compliance requires not only that changes in the circumstances of the employees – e.g. change of address, job title or salary – must be passed on to the Home Office, but that changes to the business must also be notified. For example, mergers, de-mergers and acquisitions must all be reported as part of the Tier 2 Sponsor Licence programme. At the same time, licence holders must ensure they make such reports via the correct reporting mechanism: either the electronic Sponsor Management System or the paper Sponsor Change of Circumstances form. At all times, the imperative to make such reports 100% accurate as well as timely is absolute.
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