UK launches campaign on ‘fairer, firmer’ post-Brexit foreign hiring rules

(File photo: Carl Court/Getty Images)
(File photo: Carl Court/Getty Images)

THE UK has launched a campaign to inform businesses about upgraded rules to hire foreign workers once the Brexit transition period ends on December 31, 2020.

The new points-based immigration system will require UK-based employers to be registered as a licensed sponsor in order to be able to hire employees from abroad. Workers from the European Union (EU) will be brought in line with those from outside the economic bloc.

“The new points-based system will be fairer and firmer, giving us control of our borders and treating people based on the skills they have to offer and the contribution they can make to the UK, not where they come from,” said immigration minister Kevin Foster.

“We will be able to decide who comes into the country, allowing us to prioritise and invest in those people already in the UK, upskilling our current work force, whilst also attracting the best and brightest from around the world to complement the skills we already have.”

The Home Office maintained the new system will be simpler, and welcome workers from across the world “based on the skills they have to offer and how they will contribute to the UK, not where their passport comes from”.

“It will be simpler for businesses to access the talent they need as we have removed the Resident Labour Market Test, lowered the skills and salary threshold, and suspended the cap on skilled workers,” said a spokesperson.

“We are working extensively to understand employers’ needs and encourage them to invest in the best home-grown talent alongside recruiting the best and brightest from abroad.”

Indian industry and students’ groups had broadly welcomed the new post-Brexit points-based regime unveiled by Home Secretary Priti Patel earlier this year.

The magic number of points required to apply under the new system will be 70, accrued in increments of 20 or 10 based on professional skills, English language proficiency, a job offer from an approved sponsor and pre-set salary levels.

Some of the categories will fall under tradable points, such as salary levels and jobs that fall within the shortage occupation list, giving applicants some options to make up a total of 70.

Besides the points-based system, the government also put in place schemes to enable more scientists, academics, investors, entrepreneurs, and health and care workers to come to the UK.

It is also reviewing the recommendations of the independent Migration Advisory Committee on the Shortage Occupation List, and will introduce rules that help fill roles where shortages may occur.

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