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Why UK Businesses are increasingly choosing to hire using a sponsor licence

August 11, 2022 Amir 3 Minutes Read

The UK Sponsor Licence scheme allows UK businesses to hire migrant workers. In recent months the number of UK companies applying for sponsor licences has rocketed. This increase has come across all sectors, despite the fact that the economy hasn’t significantly grown and many businesses have not yet recovered from 2020-2022 lockdown provisions.

So why are UK business increasingly hiring from abroad using the sponsor licence scheme?

After Brexit, European workers no longer have free movement.

UK Employers had the benefit, for a number of decades, of supplementing hard to fill positions with European staff without the need to apply for work permits. Restaurants, hotels and others in the hospitality sector in particular used European staff to fill vacancies which they found UK workers had little appetite for.

Since Brexit, businesses which have found it difficult to hire European workers are increasingly using sponsor licence hires to fill out their hiring either with EEA workers or migrant workers from outside Europe. Anecdotal evidence Westkin has picked up through its casework also reveals that many employers have found European nationals unwilling to take roles in the UK, feeling unwelcome in a  post Brexit environment.

No Specific requirement to advertise a role for a month

Since Brexit, the government has taken clear steps to make it easier to hire foreign workers. The clearest example of this is the scrapping of the Resident Labour Market Test. (RLMT). This rule previously required that all positions to be filled by a migrant worker had to be advertised locally for at least a month. This exercise, even if correctly followed, was often hard to differentiate from a tick box exercise, and as such its scrapping saves wasted effort and means that UK companies can hire from abroad saving at least a month.

Increasing the number of roles that can be hired from abroad

The UK sponsor licence scheme has traditionally limited the roles that can be hired from abroad to those that meet the definition of ‘skilled’. Post Brexit, this is still the case, only skilled workers can be hired. The government has however chosen to change the definition of skilled worker to include roles which were traditionally excluded. Personal assistants, administrative staff, graphic designers and other similar roles are now included when they were not before.

Removal of minimum shareholding for employees

Traditionally, employees who were sponsored were not permitted to hold more than 10% of shares in the employing company. This maximum shareholding has been restricted, and as such allows more senior employees to be hired by smaller businesses through attractive share options.

Increased need in high skilled technology positions

Post Lockdown Britain has seen growth in certain sectors. Companies that facilitate remote working through technology solutions have seen massive growth. Other companies that benefit from remote working (knowledge workers in office environments being the obvious example) have seen opportunities in reducing office costs and hiring additional staff without the additional office costs. This has led to a shortage of technology workers which is being supplemented though hiring of foreign workers, from traditional technology hotspots such as India and Russia.

Of course, there are myriad additional reasons why UK businesses are hiring from abroad and are increasingly joining the Sponsor Licence Scheme.

“Westkin were amazing. They exceeded my expectations and got my employees tier 2 visa in no time. They were always available and ready to help. I am so grateful for their professionalism and bundles of knowledge and expertise. Thank you.”

Rimple Sidhu

Westkin can provide detailed advice on whether a licence is appropriate for your business. In particular our service features:

  • A fixed fee quote given before you commit to the licence.
  • A full refund if the licence is not granted.
  • Honest and Clear advice on the steps your business will need to take in order to obtain a licence.
  • Honest and clear advice on whether your business would benefit from a licence
  • Real lawyers advising clearly and project managing the application.

Contact Us today to get started.

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