While the COVID pandemic continues to challenge organisations both nationally and internationally, it is understandable that important changes in legislation may not be at the forefront of our minds, as they normally would be.

As day-to-day business is impacted by the pandemic, it is paramount to remember the reality that legislation continues to change. We must be ready to implement it when it does. Here’s a reminder of two key changes that have recently taken effect:

On December 31st, 2020 freedom of movement between the UK and EU ceased, with the UK’s new points-based immigration system now in force.

Under the new legislation Irish nationals can continue to enter, work and study in the UK. The new points-based system applies to all other overseas nationals arriving after Dec 31st 2020, including those from the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland.

Employees from the European Economic Area and Switzerland, already living in the UK before 31st Dec 2020, have until 30 June 2021 to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.

As a transitionary measure, employers can continue to accept passports and national identity cards of EU citizens as evidence of their right to work up until 30 June 2021. EU citizens may also choose to evidence their right to work using their digital status, provided by the Home Office.

Under the new legislation employers need a sponsor licence to hire new entrants to the UK. The prospective employee must qualify to work in the UK under one of several routes. One such route is that applied to  Skilled workers.

To qualify into the Skilled Worker category, prospective employees must meet a specific set of mandatory requirements, along with other tradeable requirements that take their total points score above 70.

Mandatory requirements are:

  • Offer of a job by approved sponsor (20pts)
  • Job at applicable skill level i.e., RQF 3 or above (20pts)
  • Speaks English at required level (10pts)

Tradeable requirements relate to the salary of the job offered, jobs in a shortage occupation and qualification level of the candidate.

Organisations recruiting teachers should also be aware that, from 1st Jan 2021, professional regulators in the EEA will no longer share information about sanctions imposed on EEA teachers with the Teaching Regulation Authority, via the Internal Market Information system. Teachers must provide a letter of professional standing issued by the professional regulating authority in the country in which they worked.

Schools must continue to carry out all safer recruitment checks on job applicants.

Contact the Jane team to understand how our solutions manage safer recruitment in schools and businesses.

Visit the Gov.uk website for the latest information.