Social care sector faces £2,675 foreign worker recruitment charge
Brexit has prompted a surge in enquiries to immigration lawyers with businesses and workers concerned for their future one week on from the EU Referendum.
National law firm Simpson Millar’s head of immigration Emma Brooksbank has reported a huge 1,100% rise in calls from EU migrants hoping to secure permanent residence and a similar surge in enquiries from businesses employing foreign workers who face a significant new tariff when the UK exits the European Union.
Ms Brooksbank said the bill for recruiting an employee from overseas could soon hit a record £2,675 – or more.
“If the UK removes the current exemptions for EEA (European Economic Area) nationals and ceases to be a signatory to the treaties which enshrine the rights of free movement in the EU, companies would likely need to navigate Tier 2 of the Points Based System to recruit from the EU,” said Ms Brooksbank
“This can quickly become a very expensive exercise. Under Tier 2, an employer needs a sponsor’s licence which carries a one-off cost of £1,476. For each employee, they also need a Certificate of Sponsorship which carries a fee of £199. The employee needs to apply for their visa but often the employer meets this cost to which currently stands at £575 for entry clearance and £664 for leave to remain.
“The Immigration Act 2016 imposes an Immigration Skills Charge which was due to be introduced in April 2017. I anticipate that this could now be brought forward. The proposal is for businesses that recruit from overseas to pay a charge of £1,000, or £364 for small business, for every employee when they apply for entry clearance or leave to remain. They would usually pay the charge twice in the lifetime of a person’s leave under Tier 2.
“When you add up the sums, the immediate cost of taking on an overseas worker could soon be a staggering £3,250 per employee or more – and that doesn’t even take into account the cost of recruitment, legal fees and regulatory administrative costs.”
The immigration section on Simpson Millar’s website has seen a 1,100% increase in enquiries since the Brexit vote was announced on 24th June, driven by a 290% increase in unique visitors.
“Our website stats are a clear indication of just how many people and businesses are concerned about the implications of Brexit,” said Ms Brooksbank “I suspect we will see a record number of residence card and permanent residence card applications this summer – many from people who never thought they would need it.”