How does a UK business with a sponsor licence use the sponsor licence management system?
Many UK businesses are in the position of having to apply for their first Home Office issued sponsor licence to enable them to recruit overseas workers on skilled worker visas, including EU nationals who will be subject to UK Immigration control after the end of free movement on the 31 December 2020. With the arrival of the new UK points based Immigration system in January 2021, UK business owners need to get up to speed with the new Immigration terminology and first time Sponsor Licence applicants need to also understand the Sponsor Licence management system.
UK Sponsor Licence solicitors
London based OTS Solicitors specialise in business immigration law. For expert advice from the specialist team of work visa and sponsor licence solicitors call 0203 959 9123 or contact us here. Appointments are available through video conferencing, Skype or by telephone appointment.
What is the Sponsor Licence management system?
The official name for the Home Office tool to manage your Sponsor Licence is the Sponsor Management System (SMS). In essence it is an online system that Sponsor Licence holders are obliged to use to comply with their reporting duties to the Home Office and to manage and record their Sponsor Licence activities.
Understanding the Sponsor Management System is critical to the successful operation of your Sponsor Licence. That because if your business doesn’t comply with its reporting and recording duties it risks having its Sponsor Licence downgraded, suspended or even revoked.
In addition, UK business owners need to use the Sponsor Management System to allocate Certificates of Sponsorship to sponsored workers so that the sponsored worker can then apply for a skilled worker visa.
Can all employees input information on the Sponsor Management System?
Many employers assume that there is complete flexibility with the Sponsor Management System and that an employer can arrange for any available employee to complete Sponsor Licence recording on the Sponsor Management System. However, that’s incorrect.
To be able to use the Sponsor Management System your employee needs to be a member of the ‘key personnel’ and allocated one of the following roles:
- Authorising officer – the senior person responsible for the Sponsor Licence and overseas recruitment. To be able to access the Sponsor Management System they also need to be appointed as a level one user
- Key contact – the person who is the main contact or go-between with the Home Office. To be able to access the Sponsor Management System they also need to be appointed as a level one user
- Level one user- the person who conducts the regular recording duties on the Sponsor Management System
- Level 2 user – the person who inputs information onto the Sponsor Management System but has less authority than a level one user.
The authorising officer, the key contact and the level 1 user all have to be named on the first Sponsor Licence application form but additional level one and two users can be added at a later date.
Whilst it may be tempting for your business to appoint many level one and two users so that there is flexibility it is best to ensure that numbers are limited to a reasonable size, depending on the nature of your organisation and the number of employed sponsored workers, so that level one users can be trained properly on their reporting and recording duties and are accountable for any reporting errors.
What information is put on the Sponsor Management System?
The following types of information can be inputted into the Sponsor Management System:
- Reporting of information to the Home Office - for example, if a sponsored worker changes address or is absent from their Employment on the first day of their contract or is away from their Employment for ten days or more and their absence isn’t authorised or the sponsored worker’s contract of Employment has been terminated
- Managing the Sponsor Licence details – A level one user can give information about the setting up or closure of a new branch and provide other required Sponsor Licence information
- Add to the level one and two users- A level one user can ask the Home Office to add additional level one and level two users or can ask the Home Office to remove level two users
- Create and assign Certificates of Sponsorship to overseas job applicants who need a Certificate of Sponsorship before they can apply for a skilled worker visa
- Applying for additional Certificates of Sponsorship - this is to enable the Sponsor Licence holder to recruit additional overseas job applicants who need skilled worker visas
- Looking at the Home Office message board - a level one user can access the Home Office message board
- Check progress - for example, after a level one user has submitted a Sponsor Licence renewal application they can check on the progress of the application by looking online on the Sponsor Management System.
If the thought of training employees to act as level one and two users appears overwhelming your business can invest in bespoke training on the Sponsor Management System from sponsor licence solicitors or can employ Sponsor Licence solicitors to provide an efficient and hassle free Sponsor Licence management service.
How can OTS Solicitors help your business with Sponsor Licence management?
The sponsor licence solicitors at London based OTS Solicitors understand the importance of your business complying with its Sponsor Licence duties and the consequences to your business of failing to do so. The approachable and experienced UK business immigration and sponsor licence specialists can manage the Sponsor Licence application process and, once your Sponsor Licence is granted, manage the Sponsor Licence on your behalf.
UK Sponsor Licence solicitors
OTS Solicitors specialise in business immigration and employment law and are recommended in the two leading law directories, The Legal 500 and Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession. For UK sponsor licence advice call OTS Solicitorson 0203 959 9123 or contact us here. Appointments are available through video conferencing, Skype or by telephone appointment.