As part of judicial review proceedings brought by a GP practice challenging the Home Office’s refusal to grant them a sponsor licence, the High Court has offered further guidance on what is expected of sponsors when completing a resident labour market test (RLMT).

The Judge noted that the onus is on the sponsor to show there is no suitable settled worker for the role, and issued a reminder that the RLMT is not about finding the best candidate for the role, but about checking whether there is any settled worker who would be suitable.

In this case 40 people applied for the role of Business Development Manager. Five candidates were shortlisted but in the end only two attended an interview. The practice did not call any of the reserve shortlist to interview and simply appointed a migrant worker.

The practice was criticised because having found the migrant worker was the best candidate, they were still obliged to consider whether any other candidate met the criteria they had advertised. In this case they did not have contemporaneous evidence to show why the 35 non-shortlisted candidates were not suitable and also because having created a reserve list, they failed to refer to it when three candidates failed to attend their interviews.

This case is a reminder of the importance of keeping records to justify why settled workers have been turned down for a job and of the fact that, frustratingly, you cannot always appoint the best candidate.

R (on the application of Sheraz KHAN [as a managing partner of Exmoor Surgery]) v The Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018] EWHC 105 (Admin)