The Home Office Updates Sponsor Guidance
The Home Office updated the Sponsor Guidance for Workers and Temporary Workers last week. This clarifies sponsors’ record-keeping duties. Registered sponsors must follow the Home Office’s requirement on sponsor duties to show compliance with UK immigration rules. Appendix D of the guidance for sponsors is one of the most important guidance for sponsors. In fact you should follow this after receiving the sponsor licence.
In December 2020, the Resident labour market test for hiring sponsored workers ended. The Home Office abolished this making it easier to hire and sponsor overseas workers. However, the record-keeping obligations still apply for licence holders. Although the formal resident labour market requirement was cancelled, you must still follow compliance procedures relating to recruitment. The previous version created ambiguity for the employers. So, the new guidance version is a welcome change.
What changes for sponsors?
So what changes is that the guidance now clarifies what documents sponsors should retain for recruitment. Immigration Practitioners amongst others welcome this change. In fact, The Home Office now has two sections covering the documents sponsors must retain when recruiting. This applies where a formal resident labour market test is conducted and where it is not. It clarifies that the main purpose of compliance records is to show the vacancy is genuine.
Where there was a requirement to carry out a formal resident labour market test, you still need to keep evidence. This means evidence of relevant recruitment activity for the period you are sponsoring. Moreover you need to keep this for at least one year afterwards.
What applies to those sponsors not required to carry out a formal resident labour market test? In this case, Skilled Workers, should retain all evidence for example. This means evidence of any recruitment activity you undertake. So, what documents does this include? It includes the details of any advertisements, records of the number of people who applied for the job. Also it includes the number of people on the shortlist for interviews or other stages of the recruitment process. Additionally, you must keep evidence or information to show the process of identifying the most suitable candidate.
Helpfully, it now confirms that sponsors don’t have to keep application forms, CVs, interview notes or other personal data on unsuccessful candidates.
Where you did not advertise the role, as sponsor, you must be able to explain why. Additionally, where practicable, you must provide evidence of how you identified or recruited the worker.
How can we help?
Our experts assist numerous organisations to apply for new licences as well as Home Office audits. We also help with renewals of their licences. On this, please read our article here to know more about how to renew your licence. Do you need legal assistance with your licence application, skilled worker visa application or wish to organise a mock compliance check? If so, please contact Taylor Hampton’s immigration solicitors today on 020 7427 5972 or submit an enquiry HERE.