All employers are responsible for helping to prevent illegal working in the UK. Employers who hold a Tier 2 licence are also responsible for ensuring that they comply with their sponsor duties. The UK Border Agency (UKBA) may visit any employer at any time acting on information that workers are being employed illegally. The UKBA will also visit Tier 2 sponsors to ensure that they are complying with the sponsor duties. The visits may be announced or unannounced.
Our expert consultants are ex-Home Office staff, with many years’ experience of visiting companies to identify illegal workers and to check compliance with Tier 2 sponsor duties. We now apply this expertise to helping companies reduce their risk of being penalised or losing their sponsor licence.
We can carry out an independent immigration audit of your systems for UKBA compliance and employee record keeping, providing a detached, objective view that can rarely be achieved in-house. The pressures of day-to-day business can easily result in an employee’s immigration position being overlooked. It’s not unusual for us to identify problems with long-standing employees, whose status has never been questioned.
Immigration audits are aimed at providing re-assurance that the employer is meeting its responsibilities as a licensed sponsor and to avoid the risk of a civil penalty.
Audits of franchisors and/or branches also ensure that the sponsor’s licence is not put at risk or the brand damaged by the activities of remote locations.
Many clients who are in the process of applying for a licence or upgrading of an existing licence also find them helpful in preparing for a visit by the UKBA.
Audits can be conducted at whatever frequency required and may be by appointment or unannounced. The discussions which take place during the audit and the final debriefing also have a training element.
The audits are intended to be constructive and to build confidence in the way employers meet their responsibilities whilst at the same time replicating the type of visit performed by the UKBA. Each of the audits follows a similar format:
- An on-site interview with key personnel on the employer’s processes and procedures for meeting UKBA requirements.
- Examination of a sample of files for non-EEA employees to confirm that processes and policies are being implemented.
- Oral feedback on findings and recommendations for improvement and the inclusion of good practice during and at the end of the visit.
- A written report covering findings and recommendations.
Civil penalties, prosecutions, suspensions and revocations
In the unfortunate event that you do encounter problems with the UKBA we provide in conjunction with our partners Quist Solicitors a full package of support through representations, claims for mitigation and defence.
We maintain regular contact and good relationships with UKBA and are pleased to attend UKBA compliance visits as witnesses and to provide reassurance to the sponsor.
Contact us today for support in ensuring that you are compliant with UKBA requirements.