A voluntary survey sent by the Home Office at the end of April 2021 to more than 34,000 sponsors of workers is seeking information about employer time and costs associated with securing a sponsor licence, which enables them to recruit foreign workers on a skilled worker visa.
It’s understood that the information gathered by the survey will be used to help the Home Office with the design of an ‘improved sponsorship system’ for workers, while allowing the government agency to evaluate the new system once it is launched.
The survey must be completed by respondents no later than 12 noon on Monday, 24 May 2021. It’s advised that the survey will take approximately 30 minutes to complete.
The changes to the sponsor licence being considered by the Home Office are rumoured to be ‘substantial’.
Faster process for recruiting migrants
The government agency is reportedly aiming to streamline and simplify processes for employers sponsoring skilled workers, while delivering a faster process for bringing foreign workers to the UK.
According to the survey overview ‘the Home Office is surveying organisations which are licensed to sponsor migrant workers (previously known as Tier 2 and Tier 5)’.
‘We want to understand the experiences of employers after receiving recent sponsorship licences. The findings of the survey will be used to illustrate the time and costs spent by organisations in managing sponsorship to help the Home Office understand the impact of reforms.’
The overview goes on to state that student sponsorship (previously known as Tier 4), premium sponsorship services, and experiences before a licence is issued are out of scope for the survey.
Six key feedback areas
The survey is seeking feedback in six specific areas:
General details of the company sponsor’s size, sector and the type of sponsor licence held.
The usage and cost of third parties to support the sponsor in its day-to-day activities – for example, immigration advisers and HR consultants.
The time and resources used to apply for and assign Certificates of Sponsorship and top areas for improvement.
The time taken to understand sponsor guidance and feedback on using the system
The time and resources used to compile and submit evidence of significant changes to the sponsor organisation – for example, a merger, takeover or adding or removing a branch or site.
The infrastructure that’s in place to comply with sponsor record-keeping duties.
Survey won’t be used for compliance checks
The Home Office has stated that the survey will not require sponsors to provide any identifying information, and insists that responses will not be used for sponsor compliance activities.
“It is intended to identify areas most in need of reform and to provide baseline information against which the reforms of the sponsorship system can be evaluated,” the Home Office said.
The evaluation of the sponsor licence system is expected to be completed sometime in 2024, and it’s understood that answers provided in the survey will be kept until the Home Office completes its evaluation.
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