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Businesses which rely on migrant workers from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) are increasingly feeling the heavy hand of regulators. However, in one case, a care homes provider won a High Court ruling that it was treated unlawfully by the Home Office.
The provider, part of a group which ran 80 care homes and employed about 2,500 staff, argued that there were insufficient numbers of skilled workers, particularly nurses, within the EEA-resident workforce to meet its needs. However, it was stripped of its licence to sponsor entry into Britain of non-European skilled workers following a Home Office inquiry.
In quashing that decision, the Court found that the Home Office had misapplied its own policy in treating the provider as if it were an employment agency. It had also erred in finding that the provider had knowingly made false representations and had failed to make sufficient efforts to recruit the staff it needed from within the EEA. The revocation of the provider’s licence was therefore irrational.