With so much going on in the world right now, it’s been easy to miss or overlook news and key announcements on things other than the pandemic. Unless you’re at the coal face of recruitment, one such thing that may have passed you by is the implication of the recent update on the points-based immigration system being introduced in January 2021.
If you’re a studio manager or recruiter and are hoping to grow your team over the next couple of years this is incredibly important. And it could have a serious impact on staffing up in a sector that already has a skills shortage.
So, what does it all mean from a recruitment perspective and what should you be doing to get ready?
Currently, EU nationals have the right to live and work in the UK without a visa, and for those here prior to the end of this year nothing will change until June 2021. It’s important however that if someone expects to remain in the UK after June next year, they should apply for pre-settled or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) and we’d advise to do this as soon as possible, it’s free and can be managed online.
From January 1st 2021, if you want to hire new staff from overseas you will need to be a Home Office approved sponsor, applying with the correct documentation and paying the relevant fee. It’s also important to note the need to have appropriate resources and systems in place to manage and monitor employees, so this is worth looking into now.
Once you’re a sponsor and you identify an overseas candidate, it’s likely that you will be sponsoring them through the new Skilled Worker route under which workers will need to gain points using a system designed to assess their skills and salary level. All applicants will additionally need to pass the relevant UK criminality checks and will have to demonstrate intermediate English language ability.
You will pay a fee to assign a Certificate of Sponsorship to the migrant (£199) and an Immigration Skills Charge of £1000 per migrant per year of sponsorship, small business discounted rates will apply. The candidate will also need to pay for the visa itself (up to £1,480) and the Immigration Health Surcharge (£624 per year from October).
To speed up the hiring process, the Resident Labour Market Test will be removed, which means that employers will no longer need to advertise the vacant role to the national workforce. There will also be no limit on the number of Skilled Worker visas which may be granted under the new system which is good news for growing your team.
So, with only a few months to go before these significant changes land, it’s time to consider your current employees, encourage those EU nationals to make their EU Settlement Scheme application if they wish to remain in the UK. And from a future hiring perspective look into the process for obtaining a sponsor licence, there’s likely to be a significant influx of applications at the start of 2021, so get ahead of the crowd to avoid delays which may affect recruitment or retention of key staff into 2021.
If you want to talk about any of the changes to the immigration system or processes for hiring from overseas please do get in touch, we’d be happy to help in any way we can.
The phrase ‘we’re all in this together’ has gained genuine significance during this crisis and we’re absolutely here to help. Our team is fully focussed on you. We’re open for business and if we can help any existing or new clients during this time with insights or with hiring needs, please get in touch.
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