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Company Restructuring & Sponsor Licences

Sponsor licence compliance & implications

When your business is going through a restructure, whether it be an acquisition, merger or a take-over, there is so much to think about. Regretfully, the matter of your sponsor licence can be easily overlooked. What are the points you need to be aware of?

Reporting requirements

As a sponsor licence holder, you are required to report any changes to your organisation to the Home Office. You must do this within 20 working days of the change. 

If you have sponsored workers at the time of the restructure, you will also be required to report any changes to their role. 

New sponsor licence

Sponsor licences are not transferrable. If the restructure results in a change of direct ownership of your business, you may be required to obtain a new licence. It’s best practice to ensure you are ready to apply for your new licence as soon as the restructure takes place to avoid significant business disruption with your sponsored workers.

TUPE protections for sponsored workers

Ensuring you know where your staff stand during the restructure is vital.  If the restructure triggers TUPE or other similar protections for your staff, then anyone who falls within TUPE can be automatically transferred to the new licence. If your sponsored workers are not protected by TUPE, they will be required to submit a fresh visa application before they can do their work for the new business, even if their job hasn’t changed. 

Right to work checks

Every business that has staff, even those without a sponsor licence, must be alert to their right to work obligations. If you are acquiring or merging with another business, you must ensure the right to work checks undertaken by the other organisation were done correctly. Don’t be fooled into accepting warranties or indemnities from the other side on this point as these will not protect your business from Home Office sanctions.

With so much to consider during your business restructure, let our specialist immigration solicitors take the burden off you. With over 30 years combined experience in UK immigration law, we’re best placed to ensure that your immigration compliance is adhered to. 

If you require legal assistance or would just like to discuss your situation with one of our experts, please contact our immigration solicitors. 

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