What the Post-Brexit Immigration System means for Employers - | Hudson McKenzie

What the Post-Brexit Immigration System means for Employers

From 1st January 2021, the new points-based immigration system will be given immediate effect to in the UK. For employers, this specifically means that employers will have to obtain a sponsor licence before they begin to hire nationals from the European Economic Area (EEA). This is in addition to the current requirement to hold a sponsor licence for employers who wish to engage workers from outside the European Union.

Despite the fact that the majority of businesses have immersed themselves in tackling the effects of COVID-19, the implementation of the new immigration system remains on track. We recommend that employers start to put mechanisms in place now so they will be able to employ overseas workers and comply with the system’s compliance obligations.

If you are an employer who is eager to recruit skilled migrant workers from 2021, please view our recommendations below:

The reasons why employers should apply for a sponsor licence as soon as possible:

  • The Home Office has already hinted that it will start to commence assessing applications from autumn 2020, although the exact date has not been confirmed yet. We urge employers to apply early, so they avoid the ‘rush hour’ of applications to the Home Office towards the end of the year. In doing this, employers will most probably avoid potential delays and interruptions to the processing times of applications.
  • Cooling off periods may be applicable if an employer’s application is refused. This means that employers cannot apply again for six months or longer after receipt of the refusal. Therefore, it is crucial that employers consider applying early to have enough time to complete applications correctly first time.

Application process:

  • First and foremost, employers should assess whether they can show and proffer genuine employment at RQF level 3 or above. Until the new system has been properly implemented, employers cannot sponsor roles under RQF level 6 at present.
  • If employers can demonstrate the above-mentioned offer, we encourage employers to complete and submit an online application and corporate documents to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).

Employers who already have a sponsor licence:

  • Employers must be aware that there will be a heavier reliance on their licences from 1st January 2021. This is because there is likely to be a broader range of migrant workers who will be subjected to the new system.
  • Employers must guarantee that they are compliant to the extensive compliance obligations. They can do this by simply conducting checks of their current practices to ensure they are all in order and that their teams are duly trained and well equipped to meet the requirements.
  • Although Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) allocations will not be considered at this stage, it is recommended that employers inspect their key personnel and the nationalities of their current workforces so they can plan ahead for CoS allocation requests.

Should you have any further inquiries or require information on the benefits that the new points-based immigration system for sponsor licence holders, please get in touch with a professional at Hudson McKenzie via email at londoninfo@hudsonmckenzie.com or by telephone +44(0) 2033185799