We all know that the ability to hire immigrants from abroad is especially useful for many businesses in the UK, but what if it is done inconsiderately? This is the principle of the Resident Labour Market Test - It ensures that only immigrants that are necessary to help in the UK are the ones that are bought here and that the Tier 2 General Visa is not used as a way to bring in cheap labour to the UK. In this article we are going to look at the Resident Labour Market Test to see how it affects immigrants looking to come to the UK and the Tier 2 Sponsor Licence holding businesses that employ them.
The Resident Labour Market Test is a set of guidelines that ensures that businesses are trying to employ “settled” workers instead of hiring immigrants. The British government believes that immigration should be used as a last resort, and for this reason it makes Tier 2 Sponsor Licence holders go through the Resident Labour Market test for any non-exempt job before allowing them to produce a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS). This process is intended to help in a two-fold way: it ensures that local people are given the option to apply for the job and potentially prevents unnecessary immigration.
The measures were introduced a way of stemming the flow of Tier 2 General Visa migrants and ensuring that only those who were needed were brought to the country. This helps to significantly reduce the number of Tier 2 General Visa applicants and therefore keeping a significant number of available Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) open for businesses that genuinely do need specialist staff from abroad to fill their roles.
To meet the requirements of the Resident Labour Market Test, you need to advertise your role in two places that are relevant to your industry. Ideally (and in some circumstances it is a requirement) one of these should be the government's Find a Job website. You need to advertise a role for a minimum of 28 days to show that you've given local “settled” workers a chance to apply for the role. This 28 day period can be split up into either one or two periods, neither of which can be shorter than 7 days.
If you are unable to find a local “settled” worker who matches what you're looking for, you need to ensure you keep accurate records to submit to the Home Office if required, as they may ask your reasons for not taking local applicants on. This is an extremely important part of the Resident Labour Market Test and ensures that companies are considering local “settled” staff seriously. This helps to reduce local unemployment and also prevents unnecessary immigration to the UK.
The Resident Labour Market Test applies to the vast majority of Tier 2 General Visa roles. There are a few exceptions, but as a general rule, the Resident Labour Market Test will apply if you are looking to bringing staff to the UK on a Tier 2 General visa from outside of the European Union.
Even if your job is exempt, it may still be worth applying the rules of the Resident Labour Market Test to ensure that you really have searched the local area - you may be surprised to find a local candidate who is perfect for the role and can save you the hassle but bringing in an unnecessary migrant to the UK.
Yes, there are several exemptions to the Resident Labour Market Test for Tier 2 General Visa applicants. Many of these are in specialised markets where a specific qualification is required. These mostly apply to shortage occupations such as doctors, nurses and scientists. There are also exceptions for inter-company transfers, Tier 2 General Visa extensions or under one of the other schemes that enable exemption from the test.
There are also exemptions for workers that will earn over £159,600 also there are a significant number of exemptions for those in academia, the sciences and medical staff. If you are unsure whether your job role will fall into one of these categories, please get in touch and our team will be happy to look into your situation to see whether you are role is exempt from the Resident Labour Market Test.
At this stage it's still pretty unknown what effect Brexit is going to have on the UK's immigration future, but one thing is for certain: there will be effects. At this stage it does seem unlikely that the Resident Labour Market Test will be affected by Brexit, there are still a significant number of EU migrants in the UK and perhaps there will be a long-term view to reducing some of the constraints, but for now it seems like we are stuck with the Resident Labour Market Test.
At this stage it’s pretty hard to tell what changes Brexit will mean for the UK tiered immigration routes, but it seems highly likely that the UK's immigration picture will change significantly in the next decade as the UK seeks to find the right balance after leaving the European Union. It is highly likely that the prospects of non European Union citizens will indeed actually improve for moving to the UK.
If you are a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence holder looking to find out whether the Resident Labour Market Test applies to the role at your advertising then please get in touch. Our highly experienced team can help to support you in your efforts and can ensure that you remain compliant with the laws every step of the way. So, for more information, please get in touch and we can help you.