The B word continues to gather pace.

In the middle of a health pandemic, the clock still ticks towards the end of the year on the actual Brexit withdrawal deal. Here at Bower HR we continue to closely monitor developments.

Trade talks are ongoing, with them temporarily suspended yesterday due to a COVID-19 case in the negotiation team.  Negotiations are up to the wire with matters un-resolved – particularly around fisheries – although it is reported both sides are softening on their positions.

For people matters, there is a critical focus for three areas:

  • Existing Staff
  • Future staff to fulfil vacancies
  • Employers responsibilities

For Existing Employees

Brexit means that those who are from the EU, must seek settlement status or pre-settled status to continue to live and work here in the UK beyond 30 June 2021. Employers should and can support those staff who need to apply.

The scheme is free to apply, however approvals have slowed during the pandemic, so it is vital those employees take action now and not leave it too late.

Future Staff to fulfil vacancies

It is important that companies understand and are clear that where reliance has been on EU and non-EU citizens to fulfil vacancies – from 1st January 2021 anyone coming to the UK to work, excluding Irish citizens, will need to apply for permission in advance.

A points system will apply for those wishing to secure a visa and enter the UK to work from 1 January 2021.

A total of 70 points is needed to be able to apply to work in the UK. Further information on the allocation of points can be found on the Government website

The new skilled worker system, specifies that anyone coming to the UK to work will need to demonstrate that:

  • they have a job offer from a Home Office licensed sponsor
  • the job offer is at the required skill level – RQF 3 or above (A Level and equivalent)
  • they speak English to the required standard

In addition to this, the job offer must meet the applicable minimum salary threshold. This is the higher of either:

  • the general salary threshold set by Her Majesty’s Government on advice of the independent Migration Advisory Committee at £25,600, or
  • the specific salary requirement for their occupation, known as the “going rate”

Employers Responsibilities

You will need to become a recognised licenced Home Office Sponsor.

The licence you need depends on whether the workers you want to fill your jobs are:

  • Tier 2 – skilled workers with long-term job offers
  • Tier 5 – skilled temporary workers

You can apply for a licence covering either tier or both.

Click here to find out more Jobs will have a Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code which determines whether it can proceed through the skilled worker route.

The Immigration Skills Charge is a fee paid by a UK employer for each skilled migrant worker they employ through the Skilled Worker route to the ISC. Employers must pay £1,000 per skilled worker for the first 12 months, with an additional £500 charge for each subsequent six-month period. Discounted rates will apply as they do now to charities and small business.

If you need clarification or support in the coming period around the Brexit impact – do get in touch with us here at Bower HR Consultancy

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