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Over half of employers risking sponsor licences through non-compliance with sponsor duties

View profile for Lucy Sorell

A study by Migrate UK has shown that a large number of employers holding a sponsor licence are not complying with their sponsor duties.  

All employers sponsoring migrant workers are required to notify the Home Office of a number of different changes in circumstances of migrant workers, including changes of address and sometimes changes in salary and promotions. They also have to retain copies of documents such as migrants’ attendance records. If they fail to do these things they risk having their sponsor licence revoked. This clearly has extremely serious consequences not only for those employers but also for the workers they sponsor, who would usually have their leave curtailed to 60 days.

The same survey indicated that over 50% of employers were unaware of the consequences of failing to obtain correct right-to-work documentation for migrant workers. Whilst there is no penalty for this in itself, it deprives employers of a defence if they are later found to be employing someone illegally – which can attract penalties of up to £20,000 per illegal worker.

It is clear that many businesses are creating significant risk for themselves in failing to ensure that they are complying with Home Office rules. Greater challenges await with the impact of Brexit and right-to-work compliance will become even more important. If you have any queries about sponsor duties, right to work checks or would be interested in a mock Home Office audit, please contact Kathryn Dooks.