The Key to Sponsor Licence Compliance Audits: Be Prepared
A key aspect of maintaining a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence is the reality of compliance audits. The UK Border Agency (UKBA) is now operating a regime that demands licence holders are 100% accurate and up to date in terms of their record keeping and administration. Audits may be undertaken without prior notice, which means that the need to keep on top of all aspects of migrant workers’ situations is absolute. Any deficiency is liable to have serious implications.
If it is found that the company is in breach of its responsibilities, their Tier 2 licence may be suspended or revoked, downgraded to a B-Rating, or a reduction in the company’s Certificates of Sponsorship may be enforced. Needless to say, the commercial implication of any of these outcomes is likely to be damaging.
Being prepared for an audit is a matter of understanding not only what a company’s responsibilities are, but also what an inspection team is likely to be looking for. In this respect there are five key areas which a licence holder should attend to.
1. Monitoring immigration status
A key issue for UKBA inspectors is the detection of illegal working. Having early warning notices concerning the expiry dates of visas is an easily overlooked requirement.
2. Maintaining up to date contact information
Making sure that all employees are aware of the necessity to keep up to date contact information is an absolute requirement. It is not something that should be simply taken for granted.
3. Systematic record-keeping
UKBA appear to prefer electronic record-keeping. The important point to bear in mind is to retain records according to UKBA’s requirements. Absolute transparency is required at all times.
4. Attendance record-keeping
UKBA will want to see a system for recording workers’ daily attendance. Any absences must be reported immediately.
5. Recruitment records retained
UKBA will want to establish that the recruitment process is robust and that suitably qualified individuals are employed. Records validating this must be readily available and transparent.
A sponsor licence compliance audit can be initiated at any time, with or without prior notice. On that basis, keeping the requirements of inspectors in mind is a daily necessity.
YDVISAS specialise in all visa categories and are specialist immigration lawyers in the UK. Please contact the expert team at YDVISAS, should you need any professional help with your visa application.