Appendix D: Keeping records
for your sponsored
26 January 2021
Once your organisation has successfully applied for a Sponsor Licence and has begun sponsoring migrant workers, the Home Office will expect your business to comply with certain requirements to effectively monitor your migrant workforce throughout the lifetime of your licence. These requirements are known as sponsor duties.
Keeping accurate records on your sponsored workers is a key part of your sponsor duties, and the Home Office may request access to these documents at any time throughout the lifetime of your Sponsor Licence. Failure to comply with your record keeping responsibilities could result in your licence being downgraded, suspended or revoked.
To help employers understand the sponsorship process and their legal obligations as a sponsor under the points-based immigration system, the Home Office published a series of immigration guidance documents in December 2020, entitled ‘Workers and Temporary Workers: Guidance for Sponsors’.
Alongside the updated guidance, the Home Office also revised Appendix D, the document which lists the type of evidence that employers must retain in relation to their sponsor licence. Over the coming weeks, Smith Stone Walters will be publishing a series of articles focused on key sections of the Appendix D document, to help sponsors gain a better understanding of their record keeping responsibilities. In this first installment, we take a look at the types of documents sponsors will need to keep for each worker being sponsored within the business.
Keeping records for your sponsored workers
All sponsors are required to retain certain documents for each worker they sponsor under the Skilled Worker or Temporary Worker immigration routes. The documents and evidence you must keep could include the following:
- A copy of each sponsored worker’s current passport. The copy must show the worker’s personal identity details and any relevant entry clearances (visas) or permission to enter stamps showing that the individual has permission to work for you.
- Evidence of the worker’s date of entry to the UK. In most cases, you can check a worker’s date of entry by looking for an entry stamp from an immigration officer. This will normally be endorsed on the worker’s visa. In this case, you should make and retain a copy of the stamp. If the worker does not have an entry stamp in their passport, you must ask to see other evidence of the date the worker entered the UK, such as travel tickets or a boarding pass, and make a record of the date.
- A copy of the worker’s Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). If the worker entered the UK with a short-term biometric visa (valid for 30 days), they must collect their BRP before this visa expires, or within 10 days of their arrival, whichever is later.
- A copy of the worker’s National Insurance (NI) number, unless the worker is exempt from requiring one. This could be evidenced by retaining one of the following documents:
- A copy of the worker’s NI card or NI number notification letter from HMRC or DWP
- A copy of the worker’s BRP, if this shows their NI number
- A copy of the worker’s wage slip, P45 or P60
- A history of the sponsored worker’s contact details, including UK residential address, personal email address and telephone number. This must always be kept up to date.
- When employing a child under the age of 18, you must keep a copy of a letter from the child’s parents or legal guardians consenting to the arrangements that have been made regarding the child’s application, travel and care arrangements in the UK.
- A copy of the worker’s Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check where required for the role
- An electronic or manual record of the worker’s absences
Further details can be found in Appendix D of the guidance for sponsors here.
Guidelines for record keeping
Appendix D states that there is no prescribed method for storing the above documentation, however you must be able to make these records available to the Home Office upon request. Documents can be kept either as paper copies or in electronic format, and you must ensure that you meet any other legal requirements for record keeping, such as those set by the Home Office or another government department.
All documents relating to a sponsored worker must be kept throughout the period that you sponsor them, and until:
- One year has passed from the date on which you end your sponsorship of the worker, or
- The date on which a compliance officer has examined and approved them, if this is less than one year after you ended your sponsorship or the worker
Support with maintaining sponsor compliance
If you have any questions about which documents you should be retaining, or if you require support on any other area of sponsor compliance, Smith Stone Walters can help.
Our team of immigration experts can offer up-to-date advice and practical support to ensure your business is fulfilling its legal obligations and is prepared for any Home Office compliance visit.
To speak to a member of the team, please contact us today.