There is now a new guidance document update from the Home Office- found here The guidance has been updated in a number of key respects- these are headlined on page Page xi of xiii.
Some important points to note:
"From 6 November 2014 you must have at least one employee as a level 1 user, to ensure that you have access to the SMS and can check activity."
"We may check employees or other people involved with the running of your business in considering your suitability for sponsorship."
"Sponsor duties – if the migrant gains settlement (ILR) you must inform us within 10 working days of becoming aware of the change."
"We have added to the conditions for complying with the law- you must ensure that you only employ appropriately qualified and/or registered migrants, and there must be a genuine vacancy. "
Critically the Home Office have addressed a lacuna in the system, and open for exploitation, where a vacancy is artificially boosted to meet the exacting skills level or tailored for a specific person. They have this to say:
"Genuine vacancy 15.13 A genuine vacancy is one which: a) requires the jobholder to perform the specific duties and responsibilities for the job and meets all of the requirements of the tier and category. If you have already assigned a CoS the vacancy must be for the duration of the CoS; and b) does not include dissimilar and/or lower-skilled duties Tier 2 & 5 of the Points Based System - Guidance for Sponsors - Version 11/14 Page 50 of 149 We may request additional information and/or evidence from you or the migrant to establish this requirement, and may refuse the migrant’s application if this is not provided within our deadline. 15.14 Examples of vacancies that are not considered to be genuine include: one which contains an exaggerated or incorrect job description to deliberately make it appear to meet the requirements of the Tier and category when it does not for a job or role that does not exist in order to enable a migrant to come to, or stay in the UK advertisements with requirements that are inappropriate for the job on offer, and have been tailored to exclude resident workers from being recruited. This is not an exhaustive list."
All of which places greater demands on sponsors and it is important that they understand and comply with these policies to avoid sanction or penalty.