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Employers Risk Inability To Hire 2021 EU Arrivals Post-Pandemic

Published: Thursday 11th June 2020

On the 18th February 2020, the UK government unveiled details of its new immigration system, coming into effect on the 1st January 2021. In line with the government’s manifesto aiming to end free movement, migrants will have to meet certain criteria in order to qualify for a visa. From an employer’s perspective, to recruit workers from outside the resident labour market from January 2021, employers will need to apply to be a sponsor. However, with Coronavirus and financial challenges slowing the application process down, employers Risk Inability To Hire  2021 EU arrivals.

What The New Points-Based System Means For Employers Post-Pandemic

In line with the upcoming UK points-based immigration system that will come into effect next year, employers  that are not currently approved by the Home Office to be a sponsor, should consider applying now if they think they will want to sponsor skilled migrants in the future. To do so, they will first have to check whether their business is eligible. Secondly, they will have to choose what type of licence they want to apply for. Thirdly, employers will have to decide who will manage sponsorships within their business.

People walking against the light background of an urban landscape. London, employment concept UK.

What’s more, companies must apply online and pay a fee, depending on the type of licence and the size of the organisation. For example, the cost of a four-year Tier 2 licence stands at £536 for a small business. For a medium or large organisation, employers will have to pay £1,476, with the fee to hire a worker around £7,500 for up to five years.

What The Data Shows

Recent government data confirm that many of the employers in the UK will be unable to hire new arrivals from the EU from 2021 onward. In fact, only 2% of UK employers currently hold a valid license to sponsor EU workers from 2021.

Coronavirus Increasing The Risk Of Employers’ Inability To Hire 2021 EU Arrivals

It is true that with coronavirus causing disruption to business and managers focusing on the here and now, it’s easy to forget Brexit. Yet the fact is, that sponsor licence applications often take three months on average to process. But due to the pandemic-induced disruptions and uncertainty it’s likely this will now take much longer. Consequently, many employers may be left in the lurch if they don’t prepare for the change in immigration law.

Airport immigration and customs sign

Not having the talent in place to thrive and grow sets a growing concern for the future of UK organisations. Moreover, this is also worrying for the future of skills in the UK as a whole. Hence, it’s of vital importance that companies start applying for a licence as soon as possible, especially with the anticipated sheer volume of applications. Otherwise, businesses may unwittingly miss out on the talent pool and on workers with critical skills.

Acknowledging the need for skilled workers, Zoek remains close to SME’s, LSE’s, charities, and recruitment agencies nationwide, and will keep investing in creating opportunities on a vast scale. That’s why we offer affordable candidate recruitment solutions based on a cutting-edge AI technology to suit all business needs. Contact us at for a quick consultation to see which package suits you best.

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