There seem to be a degree of confusion about employment and recruitment agencies ability to sponsor migrants on Skilled Worker visas.

Employment agencies can apply for Sponsor Licence to sponsor employees to work directly in their recruitment business. As an example, recruitment agencies may need IT support staff to manage their IT systems, Sales staff to do sales or Recruitment Consultants to do the recruitment.

Compliance for recruitment agency employees

The immigration compliance problems arise when employment agency business holding a sponsor licence starts issuing Certificates of Sponsorship to employees contracted out to other organizations. The matter of who pays salary to contract worker does not determine who is the sponsor. The Home Office is interested in actual work arrangements, and according to their guidance the sponsor is the organisation that has full control over all their duties, functions, outputs or outcomes.

In the Home Office words: ‘if we think that you will be breaching the rules for your sponsorship of a contracted out worker we will contact the employer and ask if the employee:

  • works, or will work, independently from them and you, as the sponsor, have full control over all their duties, functions, outputs or outcomes
  • is not being supplied to them to undertake a routine role

Key lesson

An employment agency with Sponsor licence may start issuing Certificates of Sponsorship for its contract workers in breach of the Home Office guidance. Home Office may not notice the problem immediately and approve those certificates and visas. Eventually, however, the Home Office is likely to spot it. When they do, it will spell troubles for the sponsor and migrant workers in question. The sponsor licence for the organization will be revoked with all the consequences it entails.

Key lesson there is that it is not worth it for the organization to obtain sponsor licence and use it improperly. You will be eventually found out and your reputation with the Home Office will be ruined for a long time. That would harm your interests in any further dealings with the Home Office.

Key terms to note:

Routine role – whether the role is there to stay or lasts for a limited time only

Operational control- who decides employees working time and tasks

For the full and up to date information visit Home Office website and download guidance PDF provided.

Call us Call us about any immigration matter on your mobile or dial +4402034889710.

Leave a Comment