More and more organisations are sponsoring employees from an immigration perspective, which means those that are working in HR are having to be more familiar with the duties that they have to report to the Home Office in respect of the staff. This means that the issue of immigration isn’t just something that we deal with on recruitment, it means that throughout the life cycle of the employment relationship, we need to be thinking, in any situation, about the sponsorship implications.

Delays to the commencement of work is something that will have to be notified – the reason for the delay. Illness, bereavement and travel disruption will all be legitimate reasons, as will working out notice with a previous employer but essentially, the Home Office want to know if there is any delay. There is a sensible reason for this (making sure the person does come here and start work and does not abscond).

Absences from work, whether that is for maternity or paternity leave, sick leave or strike action, is another notifiable event.

Any changes made to the role, which will include promotion, changing job title or reduction in salary, is something that needs to be reported. This will cover formal promotions but it can also cover less formal changes in core duties, so line management need to be aware that they can’t just make changes without there being implications.

A change of work location to a different site or working from a customer’s premises and working remotely from home on a permanent or full-time basis will all be things that need to be notified, which is another reason why employees should not begiven carte blanche to work from anywhere and there are sponsorship angles to your hybrid policies.

You also have reporting obligations if there is any ending to the relationship or the employee is absent without leave for 4 weeks in total during a calendar year.

These changes have to be notified within 10 days so you don’t have a great deal of time to act.

Refreshing Law Ltd
June 2023