Effects of Brexit on Employment

How does Brexit effect you as a Business

Now that the UK has entered the Brexit transition period, the recruitment landscape has changed for employers and prospective employees alike. Employers need to assess their recruitment processes and ensure they understand the new points-based immigration system and the associated obligations. Prospective employees also need to be aware of visa requirements and the restrictions around those visas.

One of the most significant changes to recruitment post-Brexit is the end of workers' freedom of movement. EU nationals no longer have the right to live and work in the UK and vice versa. EU nationals already living and working in the UK can continue to do so until the 1st of July 2021. After this date, they will need to prove their right to work in the UK.

Points-based Visa System

The post-Brexit immigration system makes no differentiation based on an applicants country of origin. All overseas applicants, excluding those from Ireland, will now be subject to the same visa rules. Any individual wanting to live and work in the UK must hold a valid visa before arriving in the country.

The Skilled Worker Visa has replaced the old Tier 2 visa. Unlike its predecessor, this visa is assessed using a points-based system. If an applicant fails to meet the required number of points, the visa will not be approved. An applicant needs a minimum of 70 points for visa approval. 50 of those points must come from 3 mandatory categories:

1: Valid job offer from an approved sponsor: 20 points
2: The job offer meets the appropriate skill and salary level: 20 points
3: English language skills are at B1 level: 10 points

A company will only be able to extend a job offer and submit a visa application if they hold a sponsor licence issued by the Home Office. A sponsor licence is needed to hire overseas workers and extend existing visas. The Home Office requires all Sponsor Licence holders to meet specific criteria and fulfil certain administrative obligations. Failure to do so can result in your licence being suspended or revoked.

Existing EU and EEA employees

European and EEA employees already living and working in the UK do not require a visa under the new Points Based System. Instead, they can apply for Settled Status under the European Settlement Scheme. This scheme closes on the 1st of July 2021. After this date, EU and EEA employees must be able to prove their right to work in the UK.

Brexit and IT Recruitment

At HWSelect, we advise all our clients to review their current recruitment processes and future recruitment plans. If you anticipate the need to hire from outside the UK, then apply for a sponsor licence if you have not already done so. If you currently employ existing visa holders, you will need a sponsor licence to extend their visa in the future.

We strongly recommend talking to a visa consultancy to fully understand your obligations as a visa sponsor and the associated administrative responsibilities.