Skilled Migrant Workers- What documents do I need to keep?
In order to employ skilled migrant workers, employers need to hold a sponsor licence. Being a sponsor licence holder comes with a lot of responsibility and sponsors are expected to have systems in place to ensure that any migrants working for them can be adequately tracked and monitored during the course of their employment.
When it comes to record keeping, sponsors must keep the following mandatory documents and records in relation to their migrant workers sponsored under the Skilled Worker route and the roles which they perform. These documents and records must be made available to the Home Office on request. There are a number of additional documents listed which are not mandatory to hold but should be kept for good practice and these are listed below as ‘Recommended Documents’.
The Home Office can request copies of the mandatory documents and records at any time. These requests are most commonly made during a Home Office compliance visit, whether announced or unannounced. It is imperative that the Level 1 Users and the Authorising Officer at the organisation are aware of where and how to access this information.
Documents and records can be held either:
- As paper copies.
- In an electronic format.
- A copy of the migrant’s current passport pages showing all personal identity details (including biometric details), relevant visas or leave to enter stamps showing the migrant’s entitlement to work for the organisation.
- Evidence of the migrant’s date of entry to the UK. This will normally be a copy of the wet ink entry stamp, stamped on the migrant’s visa by an immigration officer. The only exception to this is when a migrant is employed for one day or less and it is not practicable to obtain a copy of the documents. If the migrant does not have a wet ink stamp endorsed on their visa (if they entered the UK through Ireland or via an automated ePassport gate, for example) their date of entry to the UK must still be checked by asking to see other evidence, such as their travel tickets or boarding pass (in paper or electronic form). Their date of entry to the UK should then be recorded on the copy of the migrant’s visa. There is no requirement to retain the evidence of their date of entry. If the migrant entered the UK before the “valid from” date on their visa they will not have permission to work and should be advised to leave the common travel area (UK, Guernsey, Jersey, Isle of Man and Ireland) and re-enter the UK within the validity of their visa.
- A copy of the migrant’s biometric residence permit (BRP).
- A copy of the migrant’s National Insurance (NI) number unless the migrant is exempt from requiring one
- A history of the migrant’s contact details (UK residential address, telephone number, mobile telephone number and email address). This must always be kept up to date.
- A record of the migrant’s absences from work for any reason (kept electronically or manually), including sickness, annual leave, paternity leave, maternity leave or parental leave.
- Copies of the migrant’s payslips, clearly showing their name, NI number, tax code, any allowances paid and deductions made. If the migrant does not receive payslips in the UK, specify where and how quickly these can be accessed if they are requested by the Home Office.
- A copy of any contract of employment or contract for services with the migrant which clearly shows all the following and which matches the details n the migrant’s certificate of sponsorship:
-The names and signatures of all parties involved. Normally, this will only be the sponsor and the migrant.
-The start and end dates of the contract.
-The job title and details of the role that the migrant is required to perform.
-Details of the salary and allowances which the migrant will be paid.
- Where the migrant receives any allowances as part of their salary package, evidence of the value of those allowances must be kept unless they are clearly shown in a contract of employment, contract for services or on the migrant’s payslips.
- A detailed and specific job description outlining the duties and responsibilities of the post which must include the skills, qualifications and experience required for the role.
- Copies of any qualifications the migrant holds to confirm skill level, such as degree certificate, higher national diploma or documents that show the migrant has the skills and experience to do the job. This could also be references from a previous employer or other evidence of experience.
- Copies of any registration or professional accreditation documents or any confirmation letter the migrant is required to have in order to do their job
- A copy of the migrant’s Disclosure and Barring Service check, if required for the role undertaken by the migrant.
- Any other documents set out in the relevant code of practice (SOC code) for the role as set out in Appendix Skilled Occupations of the Immigration Rules.
- If the migrant is a Croatian national who was employed before 1 July 2018 and was subject to worker authorisation, a copy of their Purple Registration Certificate showing their entitlement to work for the organisation.
Document Retention Obligations and Recruitment Processes
Although the Skilled Worker route no longer requires a test of the resident labour market to be undertaken. However, the Home Office will want to see that the job is genuine. Letters of recommendation; evidence of the Skilled Worker’s employment history and qualifications are recommended to be saved in order to demonstrate that the role is genuine and that the Skilled Worker is qualified to undertake the role and meets the job classification criteria.
When the migrant was previously sponsored as a skilled worker under the Tier-2 route an a recruitment process was followed and the Resident Labour Market Test fulfilled, there will be additional documents related to the recruitment process that will need to be retained.
- Where a recruitment process was carried out, objective reasons why unsuccessful applicants were rejected.
- A copy of the migrant’s certificate(s) of sponsorship.
- A copy of the SOC code for the role as at the date of assigning the certificate(s) of sponsorship to the migrant which shows the minimum salary level for jobs within that SOC code.
- A copy of the migrant’s CV.
- A copy of evidence that show how the migrant meets the English language requirements.
- Copies of any notifications made on the Sponsor Management System in respect of a change of circumstances for the migrant.
- Letters of promotion or in respect of changes to the migrant’s salary, job title, core duties or place of work.
How long should documents be kept?
All documents must be kept for whichever is the shorter period of either:
- One year from the date sponsorship of the migrant ends.
- The point at which a compliance officer has examined and approved the documents, if the migrant is no longer sponsored.
Some of these documents may need to be kept for other purposes and for longer periods of time. For example, copies of documents taken to evidence a migrant’s right to work in the UK should be held on file for at least two years after the termination of the migrant’s employment. Sponsors must also ensure that they meet any other legal requirements for record keeping, such as those set by a relevant regulatory body.
All documents provided in support of the organisation’s application to become a sponsor must be kept throughout the duration of the licence.
Howarths can help!
If you are a sponsor licence holder and would like to understand more about your obligations in respect of document retention or if you would like to understand more about how we can support you with your Business Immigration requirements, then please contact us on 01274 864999.
Author: Charlotte Geesin, Legal Director