“Do the Right Thing” – especially if it means not breaking the law
1st November 2019
Sponsoring your Employee’s UK Visa
On the wall of our head office, in letters half a metre high, are four words; “Do the Right Thing”.
A motion to have this tattooed on all new employees at PEO Worldwide was only narrowly overturned. It is a mantra repeated and reinforced throughout our growing workforce with good reason.
There is a myriad of everyday examples of how the team lives by this golden rule;
Our sales team will flag all potential costs with a new prospect, even it’s a danger to winning a deal.
Our finance team return every penny of unused deposit whether we’re chased for it or not.
Our HR leaders are wont to give time off to employees needing to deal with personal matters, even if the terms of the employment contract mean they don’t have to.
All these are instances where there might be short-term advantage in taking another path. But we believe that always doing the right thing, even if it’s not the easy thing, brings long term gain to all parties.
Another example of where we do the right thing is when we field the common question
“Can PEO Worldwide sponsor a visa for my employee in the UK?”
The answer is always no. Why?
Because it isn’t allowed. If you want to go through 208 pages of Home Office visa advice, there’s some good reading here. On the off chance you have other things to do, here’s the killer clause;
“5.6 If you are an employment agency, 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.”
Some in our sector would see a profit in going ahead and sponsoring an employee in the UK and leasing that labour to their client.
There is probably a good chance that they won’t get caught so it’s seen by them as a risk worth taking. To our mind, it’s not. We would lose our sponsorship license (see clause 5.7!) and have an extremely embarrassing conversation with the client.
But much worse, the client would have by then invested in the onboarding of the new employee, believing that their trusted partner had everything for a compliant solution. And the employee would have started their exciting new role, doubtless sharing their success with friends and family, assuming that they were hired in a wholly above-board way. The let-down for both would be disappointing and damaging in any number of ways.
So, if you ask us to sponsor a foreign national in the UK for your business, the answer will be “sorry, no”.
Instead, we will do the right thing and explain why that doesn’t work in a labour leasing situation.
If you want a PEO provider who does the right thing, even when it’s not the easy thing, contact us via or call (+44) (0)203 1370217.