Absence Policy for Sponsored Migrants – Tier 2 and Tier 5 visa holders

We have a responsibility to record absences for sponsored migrants (on a Tier 2 or Tier 5 visa) and to inform the Home Office if a sponsored migrant does not attend on the first day, or when a sponsored migrant has had 10 consecutive days of unauthorised absence. Sponsored migrants should report all absences (i.e. annual leave, sickness, paternity, maternity, adoption leave) to their HR lead/administrator immediately. Departments and colleges should contact sponsored migrants at least each term to request/confirm recent periods of leave. An Email template for requesting leave (474kb) is available.

To comply with the requirement to monitor unauthorised absence, please follow this guidance below.

Failure to attend on the first day

If a migrant does not attend work on the first day stated on their Certificate of Sponsorship this should be reported to the Staff Immigration Team immediately using the Changes & Leavers form.

Unauthorised absence

  • An unauthorised absence would occur when a sponsored migrant fails to attend when attendance is expected and they have not communicated their absence to their department or college. For example: a failure to deliver a timetabled lecture or tutorial, an unexplained absence from a conference or a committee meeting, an unexplained absence from work when attendance would normally be expected.
  • If an unauthorised absence appears to have occurred, the department or college should contact the migrant immediately to ascertain whether the absence is in fact due to normal work activity, illness or holiday. If an unauthorised absence of 10 consecutive working days or more occurs this should be reported to the Staff Immigration Team within 5 working days of the tenth day of absence using the Changes Form.  
  • If an unauthorised absence of 10 consecutive days occurs but normal working is subsequently resumed, this must still be reported to the Staff Immigration Team using the Changes & Leavers form.

Contact details

Contact details for migrants must be kept up to date. Please use the Changes & Leavers form to update contact details. Departments should also update CORE. Sponsored migrants must be contactable within a reasonable period of time by email or phone.

Normal work related travel

Normal work related travel, such as attending UK conferences, working from home or work meetings within the UK does not need to be recorded or reported. If the migrant is planning a trip where they will be unreachable by phone or e mail they must inform their normal HR contact in department or college before they leave. 

Normal absence reporting (i.e. sickness, annual leave, maternity/paternity leave)

Sponsored migrants should follow the normal absence reporting procedures for their staff group (Academic, Academic-related or College contracts) for sickness absence and annual leave. Records of absence must be readily available in personal files for audit purposes.

If a migrant’s salary changes as a result of taking Maternity, Paternity, Shared Parental, Adoption, or Sick leave (i.e. a drop to Statutory Maternity Pay, reduced pay whilst on sickleave, or a period of unpaid leave) this must be reported to the Staff Immigration Team using the Changes & Leavers form. The change should be reported within 5 days of the date of the change.

Unpaid leave

Sponsored migrants may not take unpaid leave amounting to more than four weeks in total, according to the visa holder's normal working pattern*, in a calendar year (Jan-Dec) except in the case of Maternity, Paternity, Shared Parental, Adoption, or Sick leave – please contact the Staff Immigration Team at once if unpaid leave is being considered.

* For example, if the normal working pattern was 4 days a week, the limit would be 16 days (four work weeks).

Indefinite Leave to Remain applications

If a migrant wishes to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain a complete record of all overseas travel during the five year qualifying period will be required. Migrants should ensure that all travel outside the UK both for private and work reasons is recorded (e.g. in an Outlook diary, calendar or a form provided by the HR contact in the department or college).

Sabbatical leave

If a sponsored migrant plans to take a period of paid sabbatical leave please contact the Staff Immigration Team for advice.

Information for sponsored migrants

Please ensure that these guidelines are communicated regularly to sponsored migrants in departments and colleges.