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Sponsorship Licences for Employers

Posted on: 22 Sep, 22

How getting up to speed with them can open up a whole world of possibility when it comes to attracting talent to your business.

Morning Oury how’s it going…

Clark says...
Oury says...

No time to chat, busy busy busy, so busy I can’t think

Take a breath Oury, you look fit to burst, tell me what’s the issue? A problem shared is a problem halved.

Clark says...
Oury says...

I’m struggling with talent Clark. I just can’t seem to find any.

Don’t do yourself down Oury. You have many talents. Admittedly some of them are quite well hidden.

Clark says...
Oury says...

not my talent, wait! What do you mean well hidden? Oh never mind. Talent for expansion.

I should be able to help, I've always been told I have a talent for expansion, especially after I've been on holiday.

Clark says...
Oury says...

*sighs* not my waistline Clark, my business. Business is booming, trouble is I can’t recruit fast enough to keep up. So I’m having to work all hours, plus of course all the time I have to spend trying to find great people to recruit. I’m running on coffee and working eight days a week. There’ll be no sleep ‘til bah! I don’t know when. So, busy busy busy, must dash.

Wait Oury. I think I can actually help you. I was in a similar boat recently, with expansion and everything. Still am really.

Clark says...
Oury says...

But you look so relaxed! What’s the secret?

You mean other than caffè corretto and the secret family mixture of 11 different ‘herbs and spices’? Simple Oury, I got a licence for…

Clark says...
Oury says...

Looking relaxed? How would you get a licence for that seems odd.

No, not a licence to chill Oury. I’m talking about a Sponsorship Licence.

Clark says...
Oury says...

I don’t get it. How is being able to put my logo on sports events going to help me recruit people? I’m just one of a huge posse chasing these people, they’re in demand. Everyone’s talking about a ‘War on Talent’, there’s a fight for the right people.

Well that’s a bit silly isn’t it, why would you want to wage a war on talent? It will definitely put them off.

Clark says...
Oury says...

Hmm…OK, drop the martial metaphors, makes sense. So tell me about how a sponsorship licence can help me?

I thought that you’d never ask. A sponsor licence is a licence approved and granted to a company to allow them to hire skilled workers from overseas by “sponsoring” them to work in the UK.

Clark says...
Oury says...

Ah, I see, so I can effectively hire from a global pool of talent.

Exactly, and what is more, as well as being able to hire talent who are based overseas it allows you to open your doors to skilled workers who are already in the UK being sponsored by other firms.

Clark says...
Oury says...

Oooh, that’s crafty. But hold it, there must be a drawback? Now you are going to hit me with it aren’t you?

I thought that you’d like that. There are no drawbacks as such, but there are some costs up front and it does take some time.

Clark says...
Oury says...

I knew it, do I really need one? I bet it’s really expensive and takes ages.

It’s not essential but since Br…

Clark says...
Oury says...

Don’t say the B boy! I can’t hear it, you’ll make me ill.

OK, this is not time to get ill. So since “relatively recent changes to UK immigration rules” and the huge pressures on finding talent in the current market it’s a really good idea for a UK business to get one. In reality, if you weigh the costs against avoiding unnecessary wage inflation and the time it takes against the time you are currently spending recruiting…

Clark says...
Oury says...

All the hours Clark, all the hours and feels like such a slow ride to get even close to recruiting anyone, even then they get pinched from under your nose. It feels like all businesses in the UK are just finding and stealing each other’s staff. Linkedin has a lot to answer for!

Quite. As I was saying, if you weigh your costs, the time you spend recruiting, not to mention the opportunity cost of not having enough staff to grow your business it really is the smart move. Whilst there are already plenty of places any UK businesses can get talent, Ireland, people from the EU with right to remain or settlement, youth mobility visas from Canada, Australia and New Zealand and anyone born in Hong Kong before 1997 being able to look truly globally gives you a definite competitive advantage when it comes to hiring and retaining talent. Plus wage expectations from people overseas might be lower than in the overheated UK market.

Clark says...
Oury says...

OK, I’ll bite. How much does a sponsorship licence cost and how long does it take to get one?

Well, how much really depends on a lot of different factors but it’s a mixture of fees to the Government and legal fees, so you’d need to talk to a professional to discuss the individual circumstances of your business. In terms of time, it’ll typically take three to six months to obtain the licence.

Clark says...
Oury says...

That’s quite a wide range! Why so vague?

That’s down to the Home Office, it depends how soon they consider the application and whether they decide to visit the business as part of the process.

Clark says...
Oury says...

I heard they are all looking for football at the moment, as it’s been out of the country so long they want to stop it from coming home.

Very droll Oury and only eight weeks out of date, best to keep your jokes to yourself if you want to keep them onside. Given that the process is a long one it’s better to start as soon as you can.

Clark says...
Oury says...

Good point, though I never have really understood the offside rule. OK, the new style me is being nice about the Home Office and applying for a sponsorship licence, so that means in three to six months I can hire whoever from wherever I like?

Not quite Oury, but nearly. For a start this only applies to skilled workers.

Clark says...
Oury says...

who are?

Almost certainly the type of people you are looking for. A ‘skilled’ worker is defined as “someone who has a specialist and/or niche professional skill set. Companies often need distinct skills for jobs in occupations which are considered to be in short supply. People like engineers, tech specialists, scientists, architects, even accountants.

Clark says...
Oury says...

And auditors, please tell me auditors count.

Yep, last time that I checked they were an extra special type of accountant.

Clark says...
Oury says...

Phew, can’t hire them quick enough. They are in charge of saving the world.

Once the licence is in place then the company can apply to sponsor workers, there’ll be a pause in effect as this can take up to a further two or three months to organise. And of course you’ll have to have met the criteria for obtaining the licence in the first place.

Clark says...
Oury says...

There’s hoops isn't there? There are always hoops to jump through

Hoops, but no real hoopla, the vast majority of UK businesses that are hiring will already be compliant with the conditions. Things like having a current corporate bank account (not an E-money account, a proper bank registered with the PRA), having the right level of Employer’s liability insurance, evidence of being registered with HMRC as an employer, paying PAYE and National Insu…

Clark says...
Oury says...

OK, OK, is there any chance that someone has listed this all out in a handy quick guide?

Funny you should mention that, here’s one I made earlier. The only thing that people might not have in place already is the appropriate and robust HR systems in place to monitor sponsored workers, as well as great staff to manage sponsorship in the business like a HR manager or director.

Clark says...
Oury says...

Oh we have a fabulous HR director.

Naturally, you’ll also need to designate existing staff to undertake three roles. Authorising Officer, Key Contact and Level 1 User to manage sponsorship duties. Staff appointed in these roles must be based in the UK.

Clark says...
Oury says...

Darn it Clark, this whole conversation started because I can’t hire enough people.

Fear not, you, or your HR Director or Manager can act as the Authorising Officer and you can actually appoint third party organisations to act as Key Contact and Level 1 user.

Clark says...
Oury says...

Do you know anyone reputable who can help?

Oury says...

That’s a relief, I’m feeling calmer already.

That’s good Oury, all you need to do now is sit down with your lawyer and get started.

Clark says...
Oury says...

But Clark, you are my lawyer!

I know, shall we go and discuss the finer points over coffee?

Clark says...
Oury says...

Corretto?

Is there any other kind Oury? Is there any other kind?

Clark says...

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We are but two fictitious characters throwing out ideas and comment to stimulate debate and collect information. As professional service firms, we are open minded people and think independent thought and debate is essential to help understand, as well as navigate, complex problems. By joves – doing business across Europe (and the world) is set to become a whole lot more complex in light of recent seismic political events. As businesses - we provide information and hopefully some wisdom - and we see this blog and its caricatures merely as a much more fun, perhaps slightly controversial way, of stimulating debate and collecting ideas. We’re searching for some true pearls of wisdom, and as we find them, we’ll share them with you.

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