Employers must have a Sponsor Licence in order to sponsor skilled workers in the UK. The government’s UK Visas and Immigration department (“UKVI”) regularly carries out inspections to ensure that employers are abiding by their obligations to maintain their Sponsorship Licence.
If the employer is found to be in breach of these obligations then the Licence can be suspended or revoked. In the recent case of R (on the application of Raj and Knoll Ltd) v Secretary of State for the Home Department the UKVI carried out an inspection of three nursing homes and found a number of concerns. Their licence was suspended and the employer was asked to provide an explanation for the issues which had been discovered. It failed to do so and its Licence was revoked.
The employer requested judicial review of this decision but the Court dismissed the application on the grounds that the reason for the decision to revoke the licence was clear.
The consequence for employers if their Licence is revoked is that they are unable to continue to employ migrant workers. These workers would then have to leave the UK unless they can find a new employer willing to sponsor them.
The case serves as a reminder for employers who use migrant workers that a relevant Sponsorship Licence must be in place and you must continue to comply with your sponsorship obligations otherwise you risk the loss of your migrant workers.
We regularly assist employers with Sponsorship applications and if you are an employer who uses migrant workers it is worth ensuring that your systems are compliant.