SRCR is a large cash and carry business with multi-million pounds turnover, and 100+ Tier 2 Sponsored Migrant workers including five Business Development Managers, one Account Manager, and one Accountant.
SRCR had retained the services of another Immigration Lawyer but chose us to conduct a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence Compliance Audit for the sake of completeness. Their confidence in their own Immigration Lawyer for Tier 2 compliance duties turned out to be in error.
One of our Senior Immigration Consultants visited their premises to conduct an on-site Tier 2 Sponsor Licence Compliance Audit. He discovered many serious gaps in compliance, and uncovered areas that left the company fully exposed to risk of suspension and revocation of their licence.
It was a great surprise that the Authorising Officer (AO) failed to update his contact details on the Sponsorship Management System(SMS).
It was a great surprise that the Authorising Officer (AO) failed to update his contact details on the Sponsorship Management System(SMS). Their immigration lawyer had not advised them of the necessity of reporting any change of circumstances for their AO and all sponsored workers employed at a previous address while reporting a change of address for the company. This is a classic example of failure, where the company misunderstood that changing an address on SMS had to reflect on all sponsored workers and the AO. SRCR was not aware of their duty to report a change of work location for each sponsored worker when reporting a change of address for the company.
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We also conducted a mock UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) interview with two of their Sponsored Workers—a Business Development Manager and an Account Manager. Considering the nature of the business, they had very little evidence of their work responsibilities and SRCR did not realise the amount of evidence and explanation required by UKVI to substantiate genuine vacancy of these sponsored workers. We made SRCR aware of the importance of retaining work evidence of their sponsored workforce to demonstrate the genuine vacancy within the business.
SRCR also copied the job description from the SOC code list of sample job duties. While this certainly reflects the job carried out by the sponsored workers, it was lacking. We advised SRCR to report the change of job duties toUKVI via SMS to reflect the exact current job duties all sponsored workforce.
SRCR also failed to retain evidence of long-term sick leave on file for one of their sponsored worker.
In the absence of proper understanding and practical guidance of Tier 2 sponsorship policies, SRCR was found in breach of many of its sponsorship duties. This easily could have rendered a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence suspension and/or at worst a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence revocation for this client.
SRCR understood exemption from the Resident Labour Market Test for students but they failed to retain relevant evidence to justify recruitment of these sponsored workers. They also failed to conduct Employee Checking Services where it was required. Failure to keep relevant policies and procedures undermines the confidence in them to be a responsible Tier 2 Licence Sponsor.
Some of the observations above may appear trivial, but are mandatory requirements to maintain a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence. We highlighted all the above and other gaps in their sponsorship compliance and advised on the best way forward to be compliant with all their sponsorship duties.
SRCR also assumed that all was well based on a previous positive compliance visit by Home Office and the advice they received from their Immigration Lawyer. Contrary to their assumption, these days UKVI has tightened the scrutiny of sponsorship duties as the Point Based System is now entering into its 10th anniversary.
SRCR welcomed and appreciated our input after the Tier 2 Sponsor Licence Compliance Audit