Anne Morris shares insight for employers into challenging alleged breaches of compliance.

“Unfortunately in the event that you are suspected of breaching one of your sponsorship duties, the Home Office can contact you directly or they can conduct a site visit. But ordinarily they would normally write to you. They would set out what they allege to be the breach of duty and then you have a very short period of time in which to respond.

“You should respond with all the information you can, including lots of documentary evidence disproving what the alleged breach was and what you’ve done to rectify it if there was a breach.

“Now in the event of a small breach of duty, then that’s fine. They can issue an action plan and you then have to put into place the guidance they’ve given to you. In the event that they decide no, the breach is too great, then they can revoke your licence.

“Unfortunately at this stage there’s no automatic appeal against revocation.

“Now certainly for the cases we’ve worked on, we have written a letter before action where we’ve advised the Home Office that we think that they’re wrong or that by suspending the licence is so severe i.e. possibly making many more people redundant, closing down the business, that we’ve requested for them to re-engage with the employer and for them not to go for full revocation.”