We are seeing an increasing number of sponsors failing to comply with their sponsor duties by employing tiers 2 and 5 sponsored migrants to work at:
- a different location to that stated on the certificate of sponsorship (CoS); or
- branches which have not been notified to the UKBA; or
- client sites without an agreement in place which meets the UKBA requirements.
The current sponsor guidance specifies that by issuing the CoS, tiers 2 and 5 sponsors are confirming that the employee will work at the location specified on the CoS. If the location is to change, for instance to allow the employee to work at a client site, the sponsor must report this to the UKBA on the Sponsor Management System (SMS), providing the details of the new location.
Similarly the UKBA must be notified via the SMS to update its records when a sponsor wishes to add a new branch to its sponsor licence. This will then enable the sponsor to move the sponsored employees freely between branches.
Where the sponsor is employing migrants to work at a client site the employer must be able to demonstrate to the UKBA that the employee is delivering a time bound service/contract on the sponsor’s behalf and that it has retained control over the employee's work. Failing to do so could lead to the UKBA taking action against the sponsor's licence.
We have recently advised a sponsor organisation that was sending sponsored migrants to work off-site in connection with a UKBA investigation. Working in cooperation with the UKBA, our client has filed the necessary documentation to ensure its operation is working within the rules. To afford additional protection, our commercial team has also put together an operational agreement between the sponsor and its client to ensure that the rules on reporting and monitoring are adhered to.