Many employers in the UK obtain Tier 2 sponsor licences to employ skilled non-EEA workers to fill certain jobs in the UK that cannot be filled by settled EEA residents.

UK Visas and Immigration has recently become a lot more stringent on checking that employers are complying with the terms of their sponsor licences. It is recommended that holders of the Tier 2 sponsor licence regularly audit management of their licence.

A recent court case highlighted the danger of an employer not doing so. The case of Raj and Knoll Ltd v Secretary of State [2015] EWHC 1329 (Admin) (14 May 2015) illustrated the dangers of non-compliance, from both an employer’s point of view and from the perspective of the workers they employ.

In this case, the employer sponsored 11 workers at three nursing homes in Kent under a Tier 2 licence. When the SSHD carried out different visits to check that the employer was complying with its sponsorship duties, it led to a suspension of the Tier 2 sponsor licence. Some of the reasons for the suspension included failure to retain copies of qualifications, shortlists or interview records regarding the sponsored workers’ recruitment, providing an incorrect work address for the migrants, and failure to provide sufficient evidence of the migrants’ right to work.

The employer’s licence was then revoked as it failed to correct the faults set out in the SSHD suspension letter. The employer took the SSHD to court with a judicial review challenge, but the court found in favour of the SSHD. Because of Raj and Knoll’s failure as an employer to comply with the Tier 2 sponsor licence guidance, those 11 sponsored workers will now have they employment terminated and will have to leave the UK unless they find a new sponsor.

The case serves as a caution to any employer who holds a Tier 2 sponsor licence to ensure that they comply with the guidance set.