Capital Care Service (UK) Limited v SSHD (2012)

In a recent ruling in the Court of Appeal, an employment agency which provided migrant health workers to the NHS has failed in its bid for permission to apply for judicial review against the UKBA’s decision to suspend its Tier 2 sponsor licence.

Capital Care was granted a Tier 2 sponsor licence in error in January 2009 for a period of four years. The Tier 2 sponsor guidance states that employment agencies are not entitled to a sponsor licence as they do not have control of the worker’s job or function. The erroneous licence was granted on the usual understanding that it could be withdrawn at any time and the rules were subject to change. The licence was revoked in July 2011 once the mistake was uncovered.

Capital Care attempted to apply for judicial review of the decision to revoke on the grounds that it had a legitimate expectation of four years’ use of the licence, it had suffered a loss as a result and the decision was so unfair as to amount to an abuse of power.

The High Court and Court of Appeal refused permission to apply for judicial review on the basis that the licence should not have been granted in the first place, the UKBA made it clear that the four years’ duration was not guaranteed, the company could not prove loss and there was an overriding public interest in the protection of immigration control.