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Head of Practice Area - Employment
For a successful business, having the best staff is essential. The starting point is recruiting the people with the skills you need, which might be someone from overseas.
There are obligations on employers to ensure that the people they take on are entitled to work in the UK. Getting this wrong could see you being fined up to £20,000 per illegal worker. Criminal penalties are possible too. You also need to know about your ongoing duties owed towards non-UK nationals and the Home Office which monitors and enforces the engagement of overseas workers.
Our immigration specialists will ensure that you are complying with all rules and regulations and that your procedures relating to employing workers from within or outside the European Economic Area (EEA) are robust. We’ll guide you through and give you the information you need in the following circumstances:
Sponsorship - non-EEA workers
You may need to apply to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) to be a sponsor under the Points-Based System. We’ll advise on and assist you with the licensing process and on preparing the right paperwork for the UKVI.
If you need to apply for a sponsorship licence, you may be interested in our fixed fee sponsorship licence application service. Contact us for more information.
We’ll also steer you through the process of applying for restricted and unrestricted certificates of sponsorship and issuing those certificates. We aim to simplify this process so that your new overseas employee can apply for their visa and join you quickly with as little stress as possible; we can speed the process along by liaising remotely with your overseas employee to assist them in making this application.
We’ll provide guidance on your ongoing responsibilities and on your relationship with your non-UK workers. It is vital that you understand your responsibilities to avoid your newly obtained sponsorship licence being revoked or suspended.
Passport to Compliance - Immigration Health Check
All employers need to check that all their employees have the right to work in the UK. We’ll advise you when and how to carry out these checks and the documents you’ll need to see and how to retain these.
If you already employ non-UK workers then you may be interested in our Fixed Fee Passport to Compliance Immigration Health Check which will examine your processes and your paperwork to make sure that everything is in order.
Home Office visits are on the increase and our Health Check is designed to ensure you are well-prepared for these.
Contact us now to find out more.
Nationals of countries within the EEA and Switzerland can currently live and work in the UK without needing to apply under the UK's Points-Based System. But there are still some restrictions in place which we will be able to advise you on, as well as helping you lawfully recruit and retain your staff without falling foul of discrimination laws.
If your organisation has an overseas branch outside of the EEA then you’ll need to be clear about rules on business visit visas. If a worker is travelling from abroad to attend a meeting, conference or training in the UK, for example, then they may well need permission from the authorities to do so, before they travel. We’ll advise you on the relevant restrictions and timescales for making applications and on ensuring that your business visitors are able to do what they need to do in the UK.
If you are likely to take on new staff when you buy a business under TUPE, then you also need to think about whether or not those new employees have the right to work in the UK. You (as their new employer) will be responsible for ensuring that they’re entitled to work in the UK, so it’s important to understand their status and whether or not you need to be a sponsor. We’ll advise you on the immigration issues in any business transfer agreement, and on the risks and how to minimise them. We’ll also guide you through the duties and responsibilities you’ll inherit once the TUPE transfer has taken place.
Tier 1 and representative of an overseas business
We can help you through the application process for tier 1 entrepreneur and tier 1 investor visas, as well as representative of an overseas business.
If you have already been fined by the Home office for employing illegal workers, we can help you appeal the fines. As the Home Office can fine you up to £20,000 per illegal worker, it is essential that you get the right advice to save your business money.
If you would like advice on Business Immigration please contact Amy Edwards.