The Home Office has stipulated detailed rules on how sponsors should conduct their recruitment processes to ensure that any international workers are recruited fairly and where there is a genuine need for their skills. It is crucial that all sponsors follow these procedures to avoid any risk of their licences being downgraded or revoked.
Resident Labour Market Tests
A sponsor licence does not give employers an open-ended invitation to hire international workers. There must be a genuine vacancy and there must be no suitable British or settled worker who can carry out this role. As such, an employer must be able to show that the resident labour force were unable to provide the level or quality of service required by the business and as a result employees had to be sourced from elsewhere.
The Home Office publishes a list of ‘shortage occupations’ which identifies those skillsets that employers can recruit without having to carry out such intense labour tests.
Skills and Salary Thresholds
Sponsor licences exist to enable employers to recruit highly skilled workers. ‘highly skilled’ has quite a broad interpretation and includes skills in terms of qualifications as well as actual practical experience or expertise in a given field. As such, highly skilled workers encompass the full range of potential employment roles from academics to science and technology specialists to sportsmen and artistic performers.
In addition to showing that your potential employee has the right level of skill, there are also minimum salary thresholds that have to be met for particular roles if you seek to offer the job to an international worker. These thresholds must be met or else the worker will be unable to secure their visa to enter the UK.