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Home Office U-turns on reporting hybrid working

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The Home Office recently announced a new requirement for employers sponsoring overseas workers to report their usual working locations. They have now U-turned on that policy.

During the pandemic the Home Office advised that there was no obligation for sponsors to notify them if a sponsored worker was working from home. That exception was removed and the newly amended Part 3 of the Sponsor Guidance requires sponsors to make a report where a worker has moved, or will be moving to a hybrid working pattern as a more permanent working arrangements.

The update can currently be found at C1.19 onwards (though it is expected to be amended or removed) and includes a definition of hybrid working patterns:

“A “hybrid working pattern” is 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 your licence, in addition to regularly attending one or more of your offices or branches, or a client site.”

This month, the Home Office has communicated that it will no longer require such reports, recognising that hybrid working patterns are the new normal.

Such a quick change in policy may be the result of a significant number of submissions from sponsors reporting on workers and a number of law firms. As hybrid working has become a standard business model for most post-pandemic, the reporting requirement particularly for large companies, would be extensive, costly and time-consuming.

It is recommended that organisations sponsoring overseas workers still keep an internal record of working patterns, including those of sponsored workers.

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