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Urgent message from the Business Secretary: The way you hire from the EU is changing

Friday 30th October

Message from Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP,

Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

The transition period is ending on 31 December and there will be no extension. The current rules for hiring workers from the EU will change. Time is running out and I urge you to act now to prepare for our new relationship with the EU.

You can find out what other actions you may need to take by visiting and using the checker tool.

From 1 January 2021, the UK will introduce a points-based immigration system that will treat EU and non-EU citizens equally and transform the way in which employers recruit internationally.

The new points-based system will ensure we 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.

Regardless of the nature of our future trading relationship with the EU, from 1 January there will be guaranteed changes for businesses:

  • You will need to be a licensed sponsor to hire eligible workers from outside the UK. This normally takes 8 weeks and fees apply. Check your business is eligible and read the accompanying sponsorship guidance.
  • New job, salary and language requirements will apply to anyone that you want to hire from outside the UK. Check that the people you want to hire will meet the requirements for coming to the UK for work.

The new system will not apply to hiring Irish citizens, or EU citizens already living and working in the UK who are eligible under the EU Settlement Scheme.

The Government will continue to provide the information and support you need to prepare for these changes. This includes sector-specific webinars to walk you through the actions you need to take. All previously recorded webinars are also available on demand now.

If you do not take action, there is a risk your business operations will be interrupted.

I know these are challenging times and I want to take the opportunity to thank you for everything you are doing to ensure a smooth end to the transition period. The Government will be there to help you to take advantage of the new opportunities that being an independent trading nation will bring.

For support with all your preparations for the UK Transition - whatever stage you are at - please contact the Growth Hub team, who are ready to help.

helpline 0800 032 3488

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