[Immigration] SPONSOR-LICENSE MANAGEMENT & ECONOMIC UNCERTAINTY
29 October 2021
The world has undergone major disruption over the past couple of years, and with the combination of both Covid-19 and Brexit, the UK has certainly experienced its fair share.
These events, and the inevitable economic impacts, have led to many companies needing to make significant changes to their employment strategies - ranging from the furloughing of staff, home-working, redundancies, restructuring of the corporate group, reduced office space, and many more which vary from industry to industry.
Some of these changes may only be temporary, but others may have become - deliberately or otherwise - permanent.
For Sponsor Licence holders, there is an additional layer of responsibility due to the obligation to keep the Home Office updated regarding various changes to your business. For example:
- If you have moved to more permanent home-working arrangements;
- If any migrants have left your employment or the UK earlier than planned (i.e., before their Work End Date on the Certificate of Sponsorship);
- Company address or working address changes;
- Changes of Key Personnel - i.e., Authorising Officer, Key Contact, SMS Users;
- Changes to your corporate structure - such as new holding companies being put in place, mergers of companies, acquisitions of new shareholdings, etc.
It may also be that you want your migrants to now carry out work not only within your own business but also in other businesses - for example, those in which your entity has a shareholding or other stake, to ensure the proper management and profitability of your interests.
Many of these changes must be reported to the Home Office within 10 working days and failure to do so is technically a breach of Sponsor Duties and could lead to enforcement action being taken. Ordinarily, the changes will not be of any concern to the Home Office at all - but the Home Office is likely to be concerned about a failure to notify, because that indicates at best that the Sponsor Licence is not being properly managed or, at worst, deliberate withholding of information from the Home Office.
Some of the updates may simply require the relevant information to be sent to the Home Office, others may require more substantial documentation being provided, including lease documents and the potential need to have affidavits prepared.
At 3CS we regularly assist clients with all typical day-to-day Sponsor Licence management as well as more complex and wide-ranging changes, including those which may not fit neatly within the current licensing structure. We are described by the Legal 500 as being “experienced in advising on corporate restructures and redundancies affecting migrant workers [and] secondments of migrant workers from one UK company to another”. Contact one of our team for more details on how we may be able to assist with your requirements.
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Solicitor/Head of Legal