On 17th July 2019, the Home Office added an Addendum to their Tier 2 & 5 – Guidance for employers 03/19 which applies with immediate effect to all Tier 2 & 5 sponsors, including all current and future applications seeking to apply for or renew a sponsor licence.
The Home Office states that it “will not license organisations whose actions and behaviour are non-conducive to the public good”. The non-exhaustive list of examples includes:
• fostering hatred or inter-community division;
• fomenting, justifying or glorifying terrorism; and/or;
• rejecting the rights of, or discriminating against, other groups or individuals on the basis of their gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, race, religious belief (including lack of belief), or any other protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010.
Compliance action can be taken against those who have engaged in the above behaviour or actions, which could result in the refusal to grant/renew a licence or the revocation of an existing licence.
It remains to be seen how the Home Office will implement these changes. Previously, it has been seen that the term ‘non-conducive to public good’ has been applied in non-terrorism-related immigration cases, which includes discrepancies with the HMRC.
Although the above issues need to be tackled in the workforce in general and the wider community, it will be interesting to see how the Home Office tackles these and whether a FTSE 100 company will face the same repercussions as a small business.