Compliance, Auditing & Training services
Preparing your Key Personnel and Sponsored staff
Preparing your Key Personnel and Sponsored staff for a potential compliance interview by the Home Office official during a Sponsor’s Compliance visit is a wise approach. You as an Authorising Officer or your HR director may be asked to being interviewed to understand the hiring approach in detail.
You and your Sponsored staff may feel intimidated by the prospect of an interview unless everyone is sufficiently prepared and understand their roles and duties.
It is possible that certain Home Office officials may identify the Sponsored staff they intend to interview prior to their visit, and they may also request specific documentation to be made available during the compliance inspection.
However, it would be unwise to assume that the Home Office official will only conduct interviews with the specified Sponsored staff or limit the visit to reviewing requested paperwork alone.
Therefore, it is crucial to prepare comprehensively for the Sponsor Compliance & Auditing Visit, in case the Home Office officials request additional interviews with other Key Personnel and Sponsored staff or HR files on the day of their visit.
Reviewing your Files
To ensure that your HR files are readily available and “audit ready” during the Sponsor Compliance & Auditing Visit, it is imperative to review them beforehand. Even if you only keep electronic HR files, it can be confusing for both your HR staff and the Home Office official conducting the compliance visit if there are multiple saved drafts of job adverts or dated and undated copies of right-to-work checks.
A busy HR worker or Home Office official may mistakenly assume that the appropriate paperwork is missing when it is actually available but difficult to locate. Therefore, reviewing and organising your HR files in advance can help to avoid unnecessary complications during the Sponsor compliance visit.
Reporting and Record keeping
As a Sponsor’s Licence holder, reporting and record-keeping are essential components of your daily responsibilities. The Home Office has provided guidelines in the “Workers, Temporary Workers and Students: guidance for Sponsors Appendix D: keeping documents – guidance for Sponsors,” which outlines the reporting and record-keeping requirements for Sponsor Licence holders. It is crucial that your key personnel are well-versed in these duties and understand the necessary reporting and record-keeping protocols.
Key Personnel Interviews – What to expect
To initiate a Sponsor Compliance Visit, the Home Office official would typically begin by conducting interviews with your Key Personnel. These interviews serve to provide the official with an insight into your business operations, your Certificate of Sponsorship requirements, and your approach to fulfilling your Sponsor’s Licence obligations. Their entire focus can be on the hiring process used to recruit each migrant employee.
The nature of the interview process will vary depending on the interviewee, as the questions asked of an Authorising Officer (AO) will differ significantly from those asked to a Sponsored candidate. When preparing for a Sponsor Compliance Visit, it is important to ensure that key personnel know their responsibilities and duties and know when to refer issues and to whom.
Interviews with Sponsored Staff – What to expect
It is not surprising that Sponsored staff may feel anxious about being interviewed by a Home Office official as part of a Post-Licence Compliance Visit. In the event that the visit is announced, the Home Office official may inform you of which Sponsored staff members they intend to interview. However, it is more likely that you will not be informed in advance of which Sponsored staff members will be selected for interview.
During interviews with Sponsored staff, the focus may be on whether their actual job duties align with the job description outlined in the eligible occupation code and Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS). For instance, if you obtained a certificate of Sponsorship for a Sponsored staff member under the job description of ‘accountant’ based on the standard occupation code, their job functions must correspond to those of an accountant, rather than a financial assistant who performs routine administrative tasks.
The Home Office official may seek to determine whether the Sponsored staff member is performing duties that match the job description stated in their Certificate of Sponsorship.
Before attending the Sponsor Compliance & Auditing Visit, the Home Office official will likely conduct thorough research and review the information held by the Home Office on Sponsored staff. This may involve using computerised government records to examine information on individual Sponsored staff’s job descriptions, as well as reviewing the SMS reporting on individual members of staff. By doing this, the official can clearly understand the Sponsored staff members’ roles, ensuring that the interview process is as effective as possible.
How can we help you overcome this situation?
Our Corporate Immigration expert can provide training on UK Immigration Compliance for Key Personnel (Authorising Officer) and Sponsored staff responsible for Sponsor’s Licence duties along with auditing services. These services include:
- Our UK immigration compliance training covers best practices for conducting right-to-work checks for specific visa types, such as Skilled Worker visa, Scale-up visa and all Global Business Mobility Routes (GBM). This includes guidance on how to efficiently implement a right-to-work checklist as part of your employee selection process.
- Providing Mock Audit services to make sure the candidates and important documentations are aligned with the rules
- Assist in managing your Sponsorship Management System (SMS)
- Recognising the requirements for reporting to the Home Office and maintaining records.
- Implementing HR procedures and systems for managing Sponsored candidate.
- Assuring the company is having a robust HR System in place to record candidates current and historic contact information’s (e.g.: attendance and absentees)
- Assisting companies with the Advertisement to hire genuine candidates from overseas
- Assisting Key Personnel on the Sponsorship Management System for applying new CoS, managing live CoS, terminating current employee, change in the situation of an employee or company (additional cost)
- Providing detailed report of findings following our audit
How can we help
We take pride in having one of the Best Immigration Lawyer in the business, one with a wealth of experience and knowledge to handle all manner of UK Corporate & Personal Immigration matters.
Our expert would be delighted to help you out by conducting a mock audit of your HR processes and later assist you in managing your Sponsorship Management System (SMS). This will enable us to determine any potential weaknesses and implement an action plan to fix them before you make your formal application.
We look forward to working with you to make this experience successful!