Reports have been coming in this week of sponsor licence holders receiving confusing emails from the Home Office. These emails often report that the person sending the email has tried to call the Authorising Officer and Level 1 User(s) on the sponsor licence without success.
The emails also allege (often incorrectly) that the Level 1 User(s) have not logged onto the sponsor licence in over 12 months and asks individuals to review their list of Level 1 Users and contact details and to update the sponsor management system if anything has changed.
It appears that the Home Office is undertaking a tidy up exercise ahead of updating the sponsor management system in the coming year and that it has outsourced this to a 3rd party provider, possibly with incomplete records.
In light of this, we recommend that all current Level 1 User(s) log onto their sponsor licence via the sponsor management system and also check if the current sponsor licence details are up to date. If anything needs updating – for example, updating the Authorising Officer and/or Level 1 Users on the sponsor licence this should be actioned as soon as possible.
It’s also a good opportunity to undertake a general health check on the sponsor licence, particularly as we emerge from the pandemic. For example, are there any new premises to add to the sponsor licence or previous premises to remove, do any notifications need to be made for the existing sponsored workers or is there a formal hybrid working arrangement in place that hasn’t yet been notified to the Home Office?
Going forwards, there is also new guidance from the Home Office stating that Level 1 Users should log onto the sponsorship management system at least once a month to check for messages or any other activity so we would encourage all Level 1 Users to diarise to do this.
It’s difficult for many businesses to keep on top of sponsor compliance but the Home Office does expect them to do so. Where serious non-compliance is discovered, the business can be at risk of losing its sponsor licence altogether.