How has the sponsorship licence changed for employers and employees?
The Home Office published in 2020 proposed changes that will affect employers applying for a sponsorship licence and assigning certificates of sponsorships. The table below highlights the main changes to the sponsor licence application.
|Pre-1st January 2021||From the 1st January 2021|
|Employers did not need to apply for a sponsorship licence to employ EU/EEA citizens. Only those that were from outside the EU/EEA required a certificate of sponsorship.||Employers are required to apply for a sponsor licence if they are wanting to employ anyone from outside of the UK (Irish nationals are exempt).|
|The job role must be at a Level 6 on the Regulated Qualification Framework (RQF) and be on the Standard Occupational Code (SOC) job list.||The job role only needs to be at a Level 3 on the RQF (e.g. a school leaver), it must also be on the SOC job list.|
|The employer must pay the experienced sponsored worker a minimum of £30,000 or the job’s SOC codes minimum salary, whichever is higher.||The employer must pay the experienced worker a minimum of at least £25,600 or the job’s SOC codes minimum salary, whichever is higher.|
|The sponsor must conduct a Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT) to ensure the roles are offered to the workers in the UK first before it is offered to migrants.||The RLMT is abolished, making it easier for employers seeking to obtain a sponsor licence.|
|Employers would assign restricted or unrestricted certificates of sponsorships (CoS).||Employers will now assign defined or undefined CoS. Undefined CoS are for individuals applying within the UK. Defined CoS are for individuals applying for a skilled worker visa from outside of the UK.|
The new rules set out above introduce a relaxation of the previous more onerous regulations. It also allows for employers to employ individuals with a lower level of educational qualification than was previously allowed. This is of particular interest to employers wishing to recruit non-UK nationals, as the law has now made it easier for employers to obtain a sponsor licence.
How can NA Law solicitors help?
If you are wishing to apply for a sponsorship licence please get in touch with us to speak to our specialist team on how to make a successful sponsorship licence application. We can also assist you with renewing your sponsorship licence application in line with the new law or challenging a revocation of an existing sponsorship licence.