A Y & J Solicitors
Pin on Pinterest

A UK sponsor licence application will give your business the ability to employ skilled workers from overseas—a gateway into the global talent pool. However, together with the licence comes a very rigid system of compliance that the rules of UK Visas and Immigration dictate must be adhered to. If your business does not meet these standards, the sponsor licence can be suspended, and disruption of business practice is not ideal. This article aims at discussing the frequently encountered causes of sponsor licence suspensions and ways to prevent them.

Common Grounds for Sponsor Licence Suspensions

These are the most commonly given reasons for a regular suspension or the sponsor licence revocation

Poor Record-Keeping

Misevaluation in keeping proper records is one huge reason for sponsor licence suspension. Businesses are expected by the UKVI to have existence and copied records of passports, contact details, and employment contracts of sponsored workers. The same is supposed to have attendance and absence records. Keeping inaccurate records or no record at all for this information can warrant a suspension on the premise of bringing into question the ability of the business to carry through with the duties of sponsorship effectively.

Insufficient Right-to-Work Checks

One of the key responsibilities of a sponsor licence holder is to ensure that everyone they employ has the legal right to work in the United Kingdom. The Home Office requires any business looking to employ a foreign worker to make the relevant checks to establish their right to work before taking them on board. This might not happen in cases of suspension, as it represents an important compliance breach and threat to immigration control.

Inaccurate Reporting to the Home Office

Businesses are obligated to report any major events on a person's employment status within the given timelines. For instance, it will report whether a sponsored employee is no longer employed, fails to report to work, or renders a job in a different capacity involving significant change; failure to achieve this may lead to eventual suspension, stating non-compliance with reporting responsibilities. 

Discrepancies in salary payments.

Another common area of suspensions is in the realm of salary payment discrepancies. The Home Office insists on sponsored workers receiving the rates mentioned on their CoS. Any deviation from this could mean suspension, such as paying them less or unauthorized deductions from their pay instituted. This would help protect against exploitation and in getting proper payment for their labor.

Poor HR Systems

Compliance checks under the Home Office test the soundness of a company's HR system. Businesses have to show that they have effective HR practice regarding sponsored employees by keeping a record of attendance of foreign nationals and ensuring that they are working with the CoS assigned duties and all other necessary documents. Weak HR systems can result in suspension if the Home Office doubts a company's ability to meet the sponsorship obligations.

Steps to Take When Your Licence Is Suspended

Take the following standard steps if your sponsor licence is suspended or even when you are faced with a sponsor licence revocation.

Review the Suspension Notice

The first step when your sponsor licence has been suspended is to carefully go through the suspension notice. It is important because the document outlines the reasons for suspension and gives you a timeframe, usually 20 working days, within which to respond. You have to understand these reasons if you are going to formulate an effective response.

Conduct an Internal Audit

Do a comprehensive internal audit of your human resources practice/compliance systems. Identify those areas of non-compliance indicated in the suspension notice and produce new evidence of corrective actions taken. Areas that would be considered include record keeping, right-to-work checks, reporting responsibilities, and payroll.

The Corrective Action

Using the audit findings, make recommendations and adjustments that would help respond to the Home Office’s worries effectively. This may include the process of modifying the HR information systems, educating the employees about the principles of compliance, as well as maintaining the records’ compliance and currency. These measures need to be documented since they are going to be part of your response to the Home Office.

Prepare a Detailed Response

Any response to the Home Office must be detailed in respect of all the issues outlined within the suspension notice. Measures that have been taken to correct the non-compliance issues and continuing measures that will be taken to ensure compliance should be well documented. This response should ideally be within this timeline so as not to attract other harsher penalties, such as the sponsor licence revocation.

Prevention of Future Suspensions

These are the very well-thought-out preventive measures that have been put in place to ensure that there are no future suspensions of sponsor licence applications.

Regular Compliance Audit

Schedule internal sweeps to make certain that there is persistent consonance with the sponsorship commitments. Such an approach is preventive in nature and assists in identifying any areas that may lead to suspension so that they can be addressed before they escalate. They also have to ensure that there is frequent attention given to areas like record-keeping, right-to-work checks as well as the consideration of payroll practices.

Staff Training

Ensure appropriate training of the staff dealing with sponsored workers for compliance requirements. Routine training will keep the staff abreast of new regulations and best practices, therefore limiting the likelihood of non-compliance.

Robust HR Systems

Invest in robust HR systems that can handle sponsored employees. They should keep accurate records, make reports to the Home Office on time, and comply with all the attendant relevant regulations. One of the ways through which the sponsor licence application can be maintained is by having a strong HR system.


One of the important aspects for a UK employer who employs foreign workers will be the understanding of common reasons for suspension or even the sponsoring license revocation. These can be related to poor record-keeping, an inability to conduct the right-to-work check on workers, failures in reporting, errors in remittance or salary payment, and poor HR systems. A Y & J Solicitors is on hand to provide detailed support with the sponsor licence applications whilst maintaining compliance for expert advice in these complex issues. Call A Y & J Solicitors for consultation so that your business may be assuredly compliant with the Home Office. 

A Y & J Solicitors is a specialist immigration law firm with extensive experience with a sponsor licence application. We have an in-depth understanding of immigration law and are professional and results-focused. For assistance with your visa application or any other UK immigration law concerns, please contact us at +44 20 7404 7933. We’re here to help!