The government lockdown will impact your business in terms of retaining and recruiting sponsored workers. The Home Office has introduced measures to prevent employees from becoming over-stayers. However, businesses that want to recruit or retain staff in light of Brexit will need to apply for a sponsorship licence well before 31 December 2020.
UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) has introduced a number of measures to assist businesses who employ non-EEA workers. This includes permitting the use of video calls, digital checking of Right To Work documents, and revised sponsorship compliance reporting for Tier 2 sponsor licence holders, where a migrant’s absences are due to the Covid-19 outbreak and where working from home arrangements are in place. There are also provisions permitting the furloughing of Tier 2 migrants under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
If you are Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) migrant whose business has been affected by the current crisis, you are now permitted to employ multiple employees across a 12 month period.
If you have not been able to employ staff for a full 12 months period as a result of this crisis, you may be able to temporarily extend your visa before it expires in order to meet the requirements.
From January 2021, there will be new categories for skilled workers taking up a job offer from an approved employee sponsor.
If you are a company looking to recruit or retain staff - especially in light of Brexit - we strongly advise you to apply for approval and obtain a sponsorship licence to ensure that your business can address its skilled labour shortages and to remain competitive.
Our team can help with all aspects of applying for a sponsorship licence including compliance and HR advice.
Please contact our business immigration team for further information.
For a free 30 minute telephone consultation with one of our expert UK business immigration lawyers during this period please click this link.