UK points-based immigration system – what does this mean for you?
The UK government will soon be introducing their new points-based immigration system which will see EU, EEA and Swiss citizens treated in the same way as the rest of the world. From the 30th June 2021 the new immigration rules for recruiting people from outside of the UK will be applicable.
How will points be awarded?
The UK already adopts a points-based visa system for individuals entering the UK from outside the EU, EEA and Switzerland, this system will be extended to also include these countries. Points will be awarded and determined based on the following key criteria:
- A job offer from a Home Office licenced sponsor.
- Skill level (A level equivalent or above)
- Ability to speak the English language.
- Job salary (general threshold of more than £25,600) or £20,480 utilising trade characteristic points)
- Salaries of less than £25,600, but more than £20,480 can be eligible if the individual has:
- Job off from Skills shortage list
- PhD in STEM subject
- PhD in subject relevant to job
The UK government have stated that an employee, from outside the UK, without settled status, will need a total of 70 points to be able to apply and work in the UK. A full list of points can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-points-based-immigration-system-employer-information/the-uks-points-based-immigration-system-an-introduction-for-employers
What does this mean for current EU employees?
If you currently employ citizens from the EU, EEA or Switzerland it would be recommended that they apply for settled or pre-settled status via the EU Settlement Scheme. This scheme will ensure that those currently living and working in the UK are given the correct rights to remain in the UK after the 30th June 2021.
What if you employ low-skilled workers?
Many are worried that the new system will prevent the employment of low skilled workers, whilst this won’t affect some sectors the likes of hospitality, construction and healthcare may be impacted. These industries are reliant on lower skilled workers, many of which come from within the EU, the new points-based system will potentially restrict the number of workers coming from EU countries is they do not meet the required points threshold. In this instance it is recommended that employers:
- Encourage their current workforce to apply for settled or pre-settled status within the UK
- Assess other recruitment mechanisms for attracting talent and low skilled workers into their industry
- Reviewing budgets and existing pay structures. For a worker to gain salary related points they will need to be offered a salary of £25,600 or more.
If you are concerned about how these changes may affect you or your business or if you would like further information, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0203 019 4990 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.