Over the last few years, it has become an increasingly common occurrence for care homes to run into difficulties with their Sponsor Licences. This has lead to some having their licenses suspended and in worst case scenarios, revoked. Unfortunately, these outcomes have been the direct result of a failure to comply with the regulations set out by the Home Office, which can be incredibly damaging to a care home business.
Research has found that an ongoing lack of knowledge and skills set within the care home sector, as well as a failure to address key issues such as Visa expiry dates, change in employment status and changed terms of employment to name a few, have contributed to the suspension and revocation of Sponsor Licenses.
Despite the clear guidelines from the Home Office, it seems that some care homes throughout the UK have not been very diligent in ensuring that these checks are carried out on a regular basis. Due to the ongoing oversight, there are a number of care homes who have not kept adequate records of their staff and practices. As a result,when the Home Office carry out unannounced compliance visits, your care home is at risk of having its sponsor licence suspended or revoked.
An overwhelming majority of suspensions lead to revocations if the representations letters are not submitted on time with strong, supporting and accurate evidence. Care homes have a range of responsibilities they must adhere to on an ongoing basis, namely, Appendix D of the sponsor guidance. It is crucial that care homes take these responsibilities seriously, no matter how onerous the administrative tasks may seem. You can be prepared for an unannounced visit by:
• Keeping comprehensive and readily available records at hand
• Monitoring attendance – this is a key sponsorship duty
• Arranging a ‘mock’ compliance visit
• Keep up to date with latest changes in UK Immigration Law
The new stringent measures are being imposed to ensure that care homes are fully compliant with the regulations and there is a more professional approach from care homes for providing the highest quality care to their residents.
Aston Brooke Solicitors have assisted many care homes who have run into difficulties with their sponsor licences. We pride ourselves on having achieved positive outcomes for our clients, and believe that the key to achieving successful results is timing and our extensive knowledge of this area.
Care homes will have 28 days from the receipt of the suspension letter to respond in writing to the issues which were raised during the initial compliance visit. This is the most crucial timeframe in which to resolve matters. Our in-house barrister, who specialises in sponsor licence matters, can help to address these issues and avoid a revocation.
If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of having your sponsor licence suspended and are concerned about a potential revocation, Aston Brooke can help by using their professional expertise to negotiate a settlement. We have a proven track record of success in these matters, as well as the experience and talent to represent you to the highest level.