Bouncing Back: Sponsor Licence Reinstated After Genuine Vacancy Concerns

Prachi Srivastava
20/05/2024

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Case Background

The organisation, operating within the care sector, encountered the suspension of its sponsor licence due to significant concerns raised by the UK Home Office. The issue arose when discrepancies were noted between the number of Certificates of Sponsorship requested and the actual service capacity documented. Specifically, the Home Office questioned the request for 30 CoS against the backdrop of a Care Quality Commission report that documented only 11 service users, suggesting a substantial misalignment in staffing needs relative to service provision. Furthermore, the business classification under the Standard Industrial Classification code 78109 for “Other activities of employment placement agencies,” as listed at Companies House, intensified the scrutiny. This classification led to suspicions that the organisation might be extending its operations beyond primary care activities, potentially supplying workers to third parties or acting as a recruitment agency, thereby breaching the conditions of its sponsor licence.

How did City Legal approach this?

City Legal tackled the suspension with detailed precision and strategic insight. We responded to the UK Home Office’s concerns by preparing a thorough cover letter that not only refuted each point raised but also challenged the decision based on limited initial information. The cover letter emphasised the client’s future expansion plans to justify the requested Certificates of Sponsorship, anticipating a rise in service users.

Additionally, City Legal provided detailed responses to the Home Office’s queries, including information on staff working hours and contract details, to substantiate the organisation’s genuine recruitment needs. This approach aimed to clarify and prove the authenticity of the client’s recruitment requirements to facilitate the reinstatement of the sponsor licence.

What was the outcome?

In a successful resolution, the UK Home Office has reinstated our client’s sponsor licence with immediate effect following our detailed representations and evidence submissions. This reinstatement enables our client to proceed with their planned expansion and meet their staffing needs for anticipated service growth, highlighting our firm’s commitment to delivering precise and effective legal solutions. This is a further testimony to our expertise in sponsor licence compliance management.

Further assistance from City Legal

We have also undertaken an organisation-wide Mock Compliance Audit to identify any issues with current practices and provided the client with a detailed action plan to tackle any issues. We developed the Sponsor Licence Compliance Portal to recognise the recurring compliance challenges many of our clients face. This solution streamlines and organises sponsor licence compliance, making it a vital tool for UK businesses that hire international talent. Our client has embraced this innovative portal, ensuring they remain compliant and prepared for any compliance inspections by the Home Office. The compliance challenges faced by organisations, some best practices, and our compliance solution can be seen here.

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