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Public law and Regulation

Case reports and guidance on public law and professional regulation issues

18 AUG 2015

R (on the application of The Koppers) v The Secretary of State for the Home Department [2015] EWHC 1071 (Admin); (2015) PLLR 030

R (on the application of The Koppers) v The Secretary of State for the Home Department [2015] EWHC 1071 (Admin); (2015) PLLR 030
Immigration – Use of interview records – Compliance with stated role

The Claimant was a residential care home that assigned a certificate of sponsorship to an individual, in order to employ him as a public relations officer. When a UK Visas and Immigration compliance officer visited the Claimant, answers provided in interviews led the Defendant to conclude that the individual was in fact being employed as a senior carer and not a public relations officer. The central question was whether the Secretary of State was entitled to conclude on the basis of the interview that the individual’s actual role was different to that set out on the certificate of sponsorship. The Claimant failed to establish any unlawfulness and the Defendant was entitled to rely upon the interview records and conclude that the individual employee concerned was, in essence, acting as a senior care worker.

21 April 2015

Administrative Court

Judge Grubb

1. The Claimant was a residential care home. The Claimant assigned a certificate of sponsorship to an individual, in order to employ him as a public relations officer. When a UK Visas and Immigration compliance officer visited the Claimant, answers provided in interviews led the Defendant to conclude that the individual was in fact being employed as a senior carer and not a public relations officer. The Claimant’s licence was thus revoked.

ISSUES:

2. The central question was whether the Secretary of State was entitled to conclude on the basis of the interview that the individual’s actual role was different to that set out on the certificate of sponsorship, namely the role of public relations officer.

3. The Claimant argued the interview records were inaccurate and that, even though they were inaccurate, if the interviews were properly understood then there was nothing that would lead to the conclusion that the employee was not performing the role of public relations officer. The Claimant further argued that the Defendant failed to take into account the that the employee was on an induction programme at the time of the visit and interviews, and that involved shadowing a senior care worker in order to be able to perform the public relations role.

DETERMINATION:

4. The Court dismissed the application.

5. The compliance system would be unworkable if records from interviews could not be relied upon and they must be taken as reliable, so long as there was a fair opportunity to correct or comment upon a record. The Claimant had not challenged the record.

6. The Secretary of State was not compelled to consider what was said in the interviews in view of the fact that the individual was undergoing an induction programme at the time. There was nothing to suggest the compliance officer conducting the interviews was not aware of that.

7. Ultimately, the Claimant failed to establish any unlawfulness and the Defendant was entitled to rely upon the interview records and conclude that the individual employee concerned was, in essence, acting as a senior care worker.

Key Paragraphs

[59] – The compliance system would be unworkable if records from interviews could not be relied upon.

[81] – The Secretary of State was lawfully entitled to conclude that the role actually being performed was substantially different to a public relation officer.

[85] – Failure of Claimant to establish any unlawfulness.
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