The Home Office introduced the genuineness test to Tier 2 General and Tier 2 ICT applications in November 2014. This means that Tier 2 Sponsors must be able to provide evidence that they can offer genuine employment.
Increasingly, both sponsors and applicants are requested by the Home Office to confirm that there has been a genuine recruitment exercise prior to the person being offered employment. Furthermore, as a result of recent heightened checks on sponsor duties, it is essential for employers to maintain a clear record of their genuine recruitment drive.
What is a genuine vacancy?
The Home Office defines a genuine vacancy as one that has undertaken a recruitment search from the resident labour market and, more importantly, is a vacancy that exists and is not a ploy to place an overseas worker in the role. Vacancies that are not considered to be genuine include:
One which contains an exaggerated or incorrect job description to deliberately make it appear to meet the requirements of the Tier and category when it does not.
A role that does not exist in order to enable a migrant to come to (or stay) in the UK.
Advertisements with requirements that are inappropriate for the job on offer, and have been tailored to exclude resident workers from being recruited.
How would the Home Office know?
Entry clearance interviews with Tier 2 visa applicants are now actively deployed as part of the sieving process. Key questions about the recruitment process carried out by the UK employer will be scrutinised during the interview. On many occasions, the UK employer will also be contacted by the Entry Clearance team to be screened for non-genuine vacancies.
In general, the Home Office simply wish to identify that there are no ploys to deceive the Home Office. Although not an exhaustive list, the Home Office will attempt to explore the following:
How did the Tier 2 applicant hear about the job?
How and where did the person apply?
When did the person apply?
What was the recruitment process for the particular role?
Details of the job, salary and location of the role.
Employers should therefore be more vigilant on any recruitment activities and the records they hold for any recruitment drive. Any seemingly non-genuine attempt to recruit your employee may result in your licence being downgraded or revoked.
Should you require any advice on this matter, please do not hesitate to contact us.