The Home Office can turn up at your premises unannounced. That’s right – if you hold a UK Sponsor Licence, you must be prepared for compliance officers coming to your business with no advance warning.
According to figures from 2017, 71% of organisations who received a post-licence Home Office Compliance visit had their Sponsor Licence suspended or revoked. For this reason, compliance visits must be taken very seriously and prepared for well in advance.
Our immigration Solicitors work with organisations to ensure their HR systems are always compliant. They, therefore, enjoy the confidence of knowing that should an unannounced visit take place; the risk of adverse action being taken against them is non-existent.
Led by Dr Lusine Navasardyan, our business immigration lawyers can run bi-annual mock audits to check your HR policies and procedures. Furthermore, we are always available to answer any questions you have regarding compliance, such as running a Resident Labour Market Test, your right to work duties, reporting and monitoring duties etc. If you have been given notice of a Home Office visit, we will swoop into action to help you prepare.
Why does the Home Office make compliance visits to Sponsor Licence holders?
Often an unannounced or scheduled compliance visit is made on the back of intelligence from a competitor or HMRC that illegal workers are present in your organisation. This does not mean you are suspected of deliberately hiring migrants who have no right to work in Britain. One of your employee’s visa may have expired and due to lack of record-keeping, you failed to notice.
What will an auditor be examining?
The auditor must review at least 10% of sponsored migrant files, 40% of right to work check documents and interview at least three sponsored migrants. However, in a small company, all the files may be checked and copied.
Not only will your knowledge of immigration law be examined, but the auditor may also question you and your Key Personnel regarding their understanding of employment law and other Home Office rules.
It is vital you cooperate fully with the auditor, and your Key Personnel are well-prepared to answer a range of questions. Set aside plenty of time for the audit.
How RVS can help you prepare for a Sponsor Licence Compliance audit
By investing in our advice regarding Sponsor Licence compliance, your organisation can significantly reduce the risk of having your licence suspended or revoked following an audit.
We will prepare your migrant staff and Key Personnel for the questions they are likely to be asked by the auditor. Our team will also review your record keeping and reporting documentation and highlight any weaknesses. We will then assist you in correcting these.
Staying abreast of your Sponsor Licence compliance requirements takes an enormous weight off your shoulders, especially if you are a small business. Being able to feel confident and in control during an audit will go a long way to ensuring the process goes smoothly.