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Jane Biddlecombe | 1st June 2023

New sponsor duty to report hybrid working patterns – Home Office U-Turn


Jane Biddlecombe | 1st June 2023

New sponsor duty to report hybrid working patterns – Home Office U-Turn

Ending one of the last remaining COVID-19 immigration concessions for workers, the Home Office recently introduced a new reporting requirement for sponsors of overseas workers who have a hybrid or remote working arrangement.

During the pandemic, there was no obligation for sponsors to notify the Home Office if a sponsored worker was working from home but that exception seemed to have been removed.  Last month, the sponsor guidance was updated to confirm that sponsors should tell the Home Office (through the Sponsorship Management System (SMS)) if a sponsored worker’s normal work location (as recorded on their Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)) changed.  This included where:

  • the worker is, or will be, working at a different site, branch or office of the organisation, or a different client’s site, not previously declared to the Home Office; or
  • the worker is, or will be, working remotely from home on a permanent or full-time basis (with little or no requirement to physically attend a workplace); or
  • the worker has moved, or will be moving, to a hybrid working pattern.

A “hybrid working pattern” was described as where the worker will work remotely on a regular and planned basis from their home or another address, such as a work hub space, that is not a client site or an address listed on the sponsor licence, in addition to regularly attending one or more of the company’s offices or branches, or a client site.  It was not necessary to report day-to-day changes in work location (for example, if a worker occasionally worked at a different branch or site, or from home). It was only necessary to tell the Home Office about changes to sponsored workers’ regular working patterns.

Home Office U-Turn

In one of the quickest U-turns in Home Office history, the Home Office has now communicated that it will no longer require sponsors to report hybrid working patterns on the SMS, recognising that such working patterns are the new normal.  However, the sponsor guidance has not yet been amended to reflect this so we will have to wait and see if this U-turn also applies to remote (as opposed to hybrid) working patterns.

If you have any queries in relation to sponsoring overseas nationals, please contact the Immigration Team

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