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How you hire from the EU will change

The UK is currently in a transition period, which will end on 31 December. The transition period cannot be extended, so there will be changes to immigration from 1 January.

Find out what you need to do as a business if you hire or are planning to hire employees from the EU. What are the changes to immigration from 1 January?

The new points-based system

The points-based system aims to attract people who can contribute to the UK’s economy, with Irish citizens able to enter and live in the UK as they do currently. From 1 January, EU citizens will be treated the same as those from the rest of the world.

Anyone qualifying as a skilled worker, wishing to come to the UK, will need to achieve 70 points. And the job offer must be provided by an approved sponsor. Points will be awarded if the job is at the right level — a skill level of RQF3 or above — and the candidate can speak English. The job will also need to pay a minimum salary of £25,600, with exceptions.

Exceptions for skilled workers

If the going rate for a job is below £25,600, then an individual can still get the necessary points. For example, if a job has a going rate salary of £20,480, individuals must also have:

  • a job offer in a specific shortage occupation,
  • a PhD relevant to the job or
  • a PhD in a STEM subject relevant to the job.

Approved sponsors

Is your business an approved sponsor? The changes to immigration mean that to hire skilled workers, your business will need to be an approved sponsor. The job offered will need to be at the required level, and provide the required salary.

If your business is not already an approved sponsor, and you believe you may need to sponsor an individual through the skilled worker route, you should apply now. The process can take up to eight weeks, so don’t wait.

Global talent scheme

The global talent scheme allows highly-skilled scientists and researchers from the EU, EEA and Switzerland, to come to the UK without a job offer. A business will not need to be a visa sponsor to employ under the global talent route. There are a number of approved bodies that can endorse individuals instead.

Other provisions

There are also provisions put in place for health and care workers, seasonal workers, those in the arts, students and entrepreneurs.

Your checklist as a business

  • Know your employees right to work
  • Check your eligibility to be a sponsor
  • Apply to be an approved sponsor
  • Don’t wait. Go to GOV.uk or your accountant for more information

Don’t wait

Coronavirus is likely to have caused challenges for your business. Don’t wait to see if there will be a deal in place on 31 December. Plan now and find out how your business can prepare, to avoid further interruptions and expenses to your business. Immigration is just one part of the Brexit transition you need to prepare for. Make sure you understand how customs and tax changes could also affect your business.

For more practical advice and business insights, you can follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn

Avatar for Liz Cordell
About Liz Cordell

I’m an experienced copywriter, with a great attention to detail. Having previously held positions at a global publisher, a top 100 law firm and a Big Four professional services firm, I now work with clients across a range of industries. Whether it’s new content for a website or creating interesting blogs for my clients, I can create engaging copy that doesn’t take a lifetime to read.

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