From 1 January 2021, free movement will end and the UK will introduce a points-based immigration system. The new system will treat EU1 and non-EU citizens equally and transform the way in which all migrants come to the UK to work.
Under a points-based immigration system, points are assigned for specific skills, qualifications, salaries and shortage occupations. Visas are then awarded to those who gain enough points.
The points-based system will provide simple, effective and flexible arrangements for skilled workers from around the world to come to the UK through an employer-led system.
This represents a significant change for employers in the UK, who will need to adapt. This guide provides an overview of the new system and sets out the steps employers can take to prepare.
For guidance on becoming a Home Office approved sponsor, please refer to the full policy guidance on sponsoring a migrant worker on GOV.UK.
Neil Carberry, CEO of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation said:
“With less than six months before the new immigration system comes into effect there are big questions to answer. With challenges from Covid-19 and the Brexit deal, can it be delivered effectively? This is a huge shake up of the rules and the timetable is tight. Businesses need an efficient and clear system from day one, including compliance measures that ensure those who play by the rules prosper.
“Firms will worry about whether the new system is flexible enough to meet future demand. While the troubling economic situation means candidate availability is higher right now, there is no quick fix to the skills shortages affecting sectors like construction, IT, and health and social care. Getting immigration and skills policy right to address these needs is crucial for our economic recovery.
“Businesses need an immigration system they can navigate easily. In the next year businesses will have to steer through the pandemic, IR35 tax changes, and prepare for how the future EU relationship will affect their ability to work abroad. For Government to pass the test being “open for business” we need deeds, not words in these key areas.”