Nursing recruitment agency has sponsorship licence revoked

Continental Travel Nurse has had its Tier 2 sponsor licence revoked by the Home Office – a decision which will have implications for the staff it sponsors, and clients it supplies them to, in health and care settings.

NHS Employers report that the licence was revoked because CTN’s operating models do not comply with Home Office sponsorship rules, which provide that:

“If you are an employment agency or any third party (intermediary) who supplies workers to a client, you can apply for a sponsor licence but only to sponsor migrant workers who will be directly employed by you in connection with the running of your business. You cannot sponsor a migrant if you will then supply them as labour, to another organisation, regardless of any genuine contractual arrangement between the parties involved."

So, what does this mean for health and care organisations who have agency staff with a Tier 2 visa linked to CTN?

Staff will be contacted by the Home Office with a curtailment letter confirming the date their leave to remain in the UK will end – staff will normally be able to continue to work for 60 days from the date they are issued with a curtailment letter or until their visa expires, whichever is sooner.

If your organisation would like to retain a member of staff caught up in this situation you can sponsor them directly on the basis your organisation is a Tier 2 licence holder.

Employers – a few points to remember

  • You must demonstrate you have satisfied the resident labour market test before issuing a certificate of sponsorship.
  • As staff are already in the UK – you can assign an unrestricted certificate of sponsorship, which staff can then use to make a new Tier 2 leave to remain application.

Does this affect staff supplied by CTN who are not sponsored under Tier 2?

If staff supplied by CTN do not have Tier 2 visas (for example they hold Tier 5 Youth Mobility visas) they should not be affected by the removal of CTN’s sponsor licence, but it would be sensible to check their immigration status.

Do get in touch with Tracy Yates or Alex Russell, if you and your staff require support with Tier 2 sponsorship rules and responsibilities, or have any other concerns about right to work.

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