A Y & J Assists IT Consultancy Firm To Retain Its Tier 2 and Tier 5 Sponsor License
In the same way, it is illegal to drive a car with an invalid MOT, it is unlawful to hire migrant workers if you do not maintain your Sponsorship duties as outlined by the Home Office.
However, if you lose the use of your car as a result of failing to maintain it to the standard required to pass an MOT, you do have other transport options; but can you say the same about losing your skilled migrant workforce?
In the same way, you can be pulled over without warning in your car, it is not uncommon to receive announced, or unannounced compliance visits from the Home Office to check your compliance is in order.
In this case, we recently acted on behalf of a successful IT Consultancy Firm, DSCL, who had received a notification from the Home Office that an investigation was in place and this would include an on-site compliance audit. The Home Office had already carried out an unannounced audit on the organisation and as a result, had concerns about specific aspects of DSCL’s maintenance and compliance with their Sponsor License duties.
DSCL were understandably alarmed by this, as not only had they held their license for almost seven years, they had no previous issues with compliance visits. They employed 15 sponsored workers who were intrinsic to their operations.
How A Y & J helped DSCL Maintain Their Sponsor Licence
An “MOT” for your Organisation
In the same way, regular servicing of your car can ensure successfully passing your MOT we can provide a bespoke service to your organisation. Our service included providing DSCL with our “Pre-Visit” pack in advance of a compliance audit. This Pre-Visit Pack allowed DSLC to be organised and to make the best use of our visit. One of our experienced lawyers specialising in compliance visits arranged a mutually convenient time to attend DSCL’s premises to carry out a mock compliance audit. The purpose of this compliance audit is to prepare the organisation and relevant staff for the real thing. As part of the audit, processes and procedures were checked, and the Authorising Officer and Sponsored Workers were interviewed.
Providing valuable feedback on compliance status
At the end of the audit, we were able to report back on what was being done well, what needed attention and what they were doing that was not required.
The real Home Office compliance visit
Home Office Compliance Officers visited DSCL at the physical addresses where the migrant workers carried out their work. It is important to note that the Home Office can also conduct an on-site visit on any physical addresses where your sponsored migrants could carry out their employment duties.
The compliance officer verified the information the sponsor provided in support of their migrant’s visa applications. They checked if DSCL complied with all their sponsor duties, and spoke to three migrant workers, including one worker who was previously sponsored.
The compliance officer inspected records and systems to ensure DSCL was complying with their sponsor obligations and adherence to rules, such as on ‘recordkeeping’ (as set out in Appendix D of the guidance for sponsors). They then conducted checks on other workers to ensure they were complying with their obligation to prevent illegal working.
Providing specialist onsite support
A Y & J have been present during many Home Office compliance visits. Our Lawyer has significant expertise in dealing with compliance visits and can offer the Sponsor an in-depth insight into what to expect. By being onsite, our expert lawyer acts as a bridge between the Home Office and the sponsoring company, providing invaluable guidance in interpreting the Compliance Officers evidential requests into practical advice to the Sponsor on the documents they could provide as evidence of their compliance.
It can be very difficult to provide evidence in the format required by the Home Office, often because it differs from how the business runs on a day to day level. For example, the Software Tester generally provides a spreadsheet evidencing the test scenarios they run. This might not be very convincing evidence for the Home Office if they are not shown how the spreadsheet was created in the context of the test scenario.
DSCL Retained Their Sponsor Licence and ‘A’ rating
With our assistance and complete handholding support, DSCL maintained their Sponsor License with an ‘A’ rating. DSCL were delighted with the outcome and retained our services as their legal representative for their ongoing Sponsor License Management.
If you are looking for a bespoke handholding service to ensure your ongoing compliance with your duties as a sponsor, get in touch with A Y & J Solicitors today.