The Home Office has published an unexpected update in relation to the Tier 2 and 5 Guidance for Sponsors.
Where an employee wishes to enter the UK as a skilled worker (Tier 2) or temporary worker or under the youth mobility scheme (Tier 5), they will need to be “sponsored” before they can apply to enter or remain in the UK. Employers therefore need to obtain a sponsor licence which requires them to provide information about their organisation. They must also ensure that any system is maintained and that the government is updated regarding any changes to either the employee or the company.
The Home Office has always impressed the importance of general compliance with Immigration laws to sponsor licence holders, as well as compliance with specific sponsor obligations. However the Home Office has now expressly set out in a new Addendum, published on 17 July 2019, that sponsors are under a wider responsibility to behave in a manner that is consistent with Home Office ‘fundamental values and that is not detrimental to the wider public good’.
It further states that licences will not be granted to organisations which foster hate, may encourage terrorism; and/or reject the rights of, or discriminate against other groups or individuals based on any of the protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010. It remains to be seen how this last factor will be considered and if losing or defending discrimination claims in the Employment Tribunal, could place a company’s sponsor licence at risk.