By Health Reporter- Over 100 UK-based Zimbabwean-owned private social care companies, most of whose fraudulent activities had been exposed by ZimEye, have lost their licenses.
This startling revelation not only puts the livelihoods of Zimbabwean nationals working in the UK care sector at risk but also raises the spectre of potential deportation.
The revoked licenses have placed these blocklisted private social care providers in a precarious position, rendering them unable to recruit workers from other countries.
The crackdown comes in response to numerous violations of regulations by these providers, including failure to report essential changes related to the workers they sponsored.
A litany of common mistakes proved detrimental to the providers, encompassing the failure to report changes in the employment status of sponsored workers, lapses in nurse registration, and neglecting organizational changes such as alterations in registration or accreditation.
Furthermore, inadequate record-keeping practices, such as failing to retain copies of work permits and background checks, exacerbated the situation.
Compounding matters, providers were found negligent in verifying the work rights of their employees and tracking visa expiration dates.
For individuals seeking information about the status of their sponsor’s license, a dedicated website has been set up: licensed-sponsors-uk.com/sponsors.
The UK Home Office has outlined the stringent consequences for workers whose employers lose their sponsor licenses.
Those already in the UK face immediate challenges, with the cancellation of their certificate of sponsorship and a visa restriction to 60 days or the remaining validity of their current visa, if less than 60 days.
Failure to initiate a new visa application within this period necessitates departure from both the job and the country.
In cases where a sponsor’s license is suspended, the impact on workers hinges on their employment status and visa applications.
Those yet to commence work can proceed as planned, while those already employed can continue their duties.
However, visa extensions remain in limbo until the suspension concludes.
The situation becomes direr if a sponsor’s business undergoes a takeover or fails to renew its license.
In such instances, workers face a 60-day visa limit or the remaining duration if less than 60 days.
Failure to secure a new sponsor license application within 28 days of a takeover mandates job termination and potential deportation unless a new visa application is submitted promptly.
For individuals who have yet to travel to the UK but possess permission to do so, a canceled visa awaits, accompanied by entry restrictions.
In light of these drastic changes, affected individuals must act promptly to secure alternative sponsors within the stipulated timeframes to avert the looming threat of deportation.
Immediate action is imperative to navigate this complex and challenging situation in the UK’s care sector.