The Home Secretary has recently announced that the UK Border Agency will be tightening their reigns over migration to the UK. This will ultimately translate to reducing the number of skilled workers recruited outside of the EU. This calls into question whether there will be any changes to Tier 2 under the Points Based System (PBS) and the robust checks to be made on Sponsor Licence Applications.
Everyone is aware that the PBS was introduced for Tier 2 (skilled migrants) on the 27th November 2008. However, very small numbers of care providers are aware of their responsibilities under the PBS. Those Employers who have made the move to apply for Sponsor Licences are under the impression that once the application has been submitted the work is done. However, this is a mis-conception. The application for the Sponsor Licence is the first step towards complying under the PBS.
Many Employers fail to realise that by making the application for a Licence they are allowing the UK Border Agency to undertake a full compliance audit of their organisations. The compliance audit involves the UKBA completely dissecting Employers HR systems, record keeping and compliance with the Immigration Rules in addition to proving that they have undertaken the necessary checks before employing overseas staff. The UKBA will also have a complete record of your organisations previous interaction with them and highlight any breaches which have been recorded in the past.
FAILURE ON COMPLIANCE VISITS RESULTS IN UNLIMITED FINES AND UP TO 2 YEARS IMPRISONMENT
Employers should be aware the onus has been pushed firmly on them to comply with ALL the regulations of the PBS. Failure of compliance will result in a downgrading of your rating in conjunction with unlimited fines and up to 2 years imprisonment.
Each Sponsor has to appoint an Authorising Officer who must hold a senior post in the organisation who will be responsible to ensure compliance under the PBS. If on a compliance audit the UKBA identify breaches the Authorising Officer will be the one facing unlimited fines and/or up to 2 years imprisonment.
BE COMPLIANT…IGNORANCE IS NOT AN EXCUSE