CAUTION: go to notes on Equality Act 2010/changes made by the Act for changes to discrimination law in effect from 1st October 2010. The unique emplaw EA 2010 cross-reference tool will locate new statutory references for you.

This information only applies to non-EU workers who are in the UK with an old style “work permit” or a sponsored visa (seeImmigration/Tier 2 ). These visa categories have very strict working restrictions attached to them and only allow the visa holder to work for the employer that sponsored their visa application, in the role that the visa was issued for.

As soon as the employment by the sponsor of a worker with one of these visa types is terminated, either voluntarily or involuntarily (eg by reason of redundancy), the worker’s visa effectively becomes invalid. The worker concerned must then either make a new visa application or leave the country at once.

In practice, on application, the Border Agency will generally curtail the individual’s visa to allow them either 28 days (old style work permit visa) or 60 days (Tier 2 visas) in which to find a new sponsor (if relevant) and submit a new visa application.

Employers have a duty to notify the UK Border Agency as soon as a sponsored migrant worker ceases employment.

For practical advice on work permit and immigration matters, we recommend contacting the independent UK Work Permits Ltdconsultancy of Hammersmith, West London (tel 0845 226 4030) whose help in preparing this note is gratefully acknowledged