Sponsor Licence Suspension
Is your company sponsor licence to hire skilled migrant workers at risk of suspension? Worried about a Home Office compliance visit and audit? A guide to how to avoid your company sponsor licence being suspended or revoked.
UK Immigration Solicitors
Sponsor licence suspension
If your sponsor licence has been suspended then it can have a major impact on your business. The main point is that you won't be able to recruit any new skilled migrant workers on skilled worker visas. This may be an irritation or a financial disaster, depending on the nature of your business and your planned overseas recruitment.
For example, if your business is in an industry where there is a UK skills shortage and the options for UK recruitment are limited, the suspension of your company sponsor licence may be extremely costly and challenging if you have just committed to a contract that you won't be able to meet unless you can recruit additional workers on skilled worker visas to meet the contract deadlines. In addition, if any of your sponsored employees or settled workers leave your business to take up new UK sponsored employment or to return home you won't be able to replace them with skilled migrant workers on skilled worker visas.
Avoiding sponsor licence suspension
As the suspension of your sponsor licence can have such a profound impact on your business it is best to try and avoid your sponsor licence being suspended by the Home Office. Some companies think it is hard to justify the time spent on sponsor licence compliance but it is normally cheaper to either hire a staff member to meet sponsor licence reporting and recording duties or outsource sponsor licence reporting and recording to a specialist sponsor licence management service than incur the professional costs and other associated costs of dealing with a sponsor licence suspension.
Sponsor licence at risk of suspension
Your company may be in the position that it knows from an internal audit that it hasn’t kept up with sponsor licence reporting and recording duties and is therefore at risk. Alternatively, the Home Office may have conducted an audit and indicated that the company sponsor licence is at risk. If your business is in either situation it is best to act quickly to try and avoid your sponsor licence being suspended. That’s because it is easier to remedy the situation whilst your sponsor licence is at risk rather than delay any remedial action and end up with your sponsor licence either suspended or revoked. Whilst it is possible to challenge a sponsor licence suspension, proactive business immigration solicitors believe it is far better to avoid the sponsor licence suspension in the first place.
What your business must not do is ignore the problem as that is likely to lead to the sponsor licence being revoked. Therevocation of a sponsor licence is far more costly for a business to recover from than the threatened or actual suspension of the sponsor licence.
How can UK immigration solicitors help a business avoid sponsor licence suspension?
The best way to ensure that UK immigration solicitors are able to help your business avoid sponsor licence suspension is to keep in touch with your business immigration solicitor. That’s because a sponsor licence application should not be a one-off transaction between company and business immigration solicitor but the start or the continuation of a relationship between the company and its trusted advisor.
The nature of the relationship between company and immigration solicitor will depend on the business needs. Some companies find it preferable to use a full sponsor licence management service supplied by their business immigration solicitor and others find ad hoc expert legal advice sufficient. Many UK businesses think that they should only contact their business immigration and employment solicitor if they need a specific legal query but specialist sponsor licence solicitors can help with:
- Advice on HR procedures so your business systems can easily cope with sponsor licence reporting and recording duties.
- Bespoke training for your key personnel so they are aware of their sponsor licence reporting and recording duties and the impact on the company of them failing to comply with those reporting and recording duties.
- Internal audits so any potential failures to fully comply with sponsor licence reporting and recording duties can be spotted and addressed before a Home Office compliance visit or audit.
- Home Office audit preparation though it is best to always be in a state of readiness as the Home Office can make both announced and unannounced audits and compliance visits.
- Help with sponsor licence suspension from the time that your business first thinks that it’s sponsor licence is at risk to liaising with the Home Office to try to avoid sponsor licence suspension to challenging a decision to suspend your sponsor licence or helping with the remedial action required to get the company sponsor licence reinstated and avoid sponsor licence revocation.
Sponsor licence suspension deadlines
If your company sponsor licence has been suspended by the Home Office then one thing is certain you can't afford to delay and do nothing. That’s because there are time limits (normally twenty days) within which your business can challenge the suspension of your sponsor licence.
An expert business immigration solicitor can quickly assess the strengths and weaknesses of any challenge to the sponsor licence suspension and work out how best to approach the Home Office and deal with matters on your behalf. At the same time, a business immigration solicitor will be working with your company advising on the documents and paperwork needed from you to negotiate with the Home Office or formally challenge the sponsor licence suspension.
Most UK immigration solicitors have a great deal of sympathy for businesses that find themselves at risk of sponsor licence suspension as it is easy to get overwhelmed with the computer work involved with maintaining HR files and sponsor licence reporting and recording duties, to the standard expected by the Home Office. That’s why OTS Solicitors encourage firms to keep in contact after we have secured their sponsor licence so we can hopefully avoid their sponsor licence being at risk of suspension or quickly step in once the Home Office has taken the decision to suspend the sponsor licence to challenge the suspension.
UK Online and London Based Immigration Solicitors
For specialist advice on avoiding sponsor licence suspension or dealing with the suspension of your sponsor licence call the immigration law team at OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online. Appointments are available by phone or video call.