Brexit Hiring Cheatsheet

You need to check an applicant/employee’s right to work by 30 June.

Here’s how to ensure your applicants and employees have the right to work.

1. Do they have a UK or Irish passport, indefinite leave to remain or another permission such as the EU Settlement Scheme?

If yes, they should have the right to work.

If not…

2. Are they eligible for settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme?

They are eligible if they are:

  • An EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, and
  • Have been living in the UK since before 31st December 2020

If yes, they need to apply to continue their residence by 30 June 2021, and you will need to support their application for the appropriate status by 1st July this year.

If not…

3. Are they eligible for another self-sponsored visa that allows right to work in the UK?

This includes, but is not limited to, PBS dependant, spousal visa, ancestry visa, youth mobility.

If yes, make the visa application.

If not…

4. Do they meet the requirements for a Skilled Worker Visa?

The main requirements are that they:
  • work for a UK employer approved by the Home Office
  • do a job that’s on the list of eligible occupations
  • be paid a minimum salary depending on the type of work
  • are able to speak, read, write and understand English (this will be checked)

If yes – and you as an employer have a sponsor licence, make the visa application.

If not…

5. Are they already employed by you overseas?

If yes, and they meet the criteria for an ICT visa, and you have a sponsor licence, make the visa application.

If not, they will not qualify for the right to work.

Get approved as a licensed sponsor

Do you need a licence

You need a licence to employ someone from outside the UK who arrived after 31st December 2020.

However, you do not need a licence to sponsor certain groups such as:

  • Irish citizens 
  • those with settled or pre-settled status under the EUSS
  • those with indefinite leave to remain

Are you eligible?

You are not eligible if you have:

  • unspent criminal convictions for immigration offences or certain other crimes such as fraud or money laundering
  • had a sponsor licence revoked in the last year

UK Visas and Immigration will review your application and may visit your business to make sure you are capable of carrying out your duties.

Types of licence

There are licences for workers and temporary workers. You can also apply for a licence that covers both.

Decide who will manage the sponsorship

You will need a:

  • authorising officer – a senior and competent person responsible for the actions of staff and representatives who use the SMS 
  • key contact – your main point of contact with UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI)
  • level 1 user – responsible for all day-to-day management of your licence using the SMS

These roles can be filled by the same person.

You may not get your licence if anyone involved in the sponsorship has:

  • an unspent criminal conviction 
  • been fined by UK Visas and Immigration in the last year
  • been reported to the UKVI
  • broken the law
  • been a key person for a sponsor that had their licence revoked in the last year
  • failed to pay VAT other excise duty

You and your allocated staff will also need to:

  • be based in the UK most of the time 
  • not be a contractor or consultant contracted for a project
  • not be subject to a bankruptcy restriction
  • order or undertaking or a debt relief
  • restriction order or undertaking 
  • not have a history of non-compliance with sponsor requirements
  • be paid members of staff or office holders

If that’s all fine, then apply and pay the fee.

This is the boiled down stuff that you need to know going forward this year. Of course Brexit isn’t the only hurdle this year. That’s why we’ve put together the Hiring Post-Lockdown: Survival Guide – packed with low-cost hiring strategies, tips for remote/flexible working and what to look for in candidates this year.