Employing foreign workers – know the ins and outs

As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, businesses are embracing the benefits of hiring talent from overseas.

However, if you are considering appointing someone from another country, there are additional considerations and requirements, including ensuring the necessary documentation is in place.

The immigration system has specific rules and regulations for employing individuals from abroad. You need to familiarise yourself with the system to ensure compliance and a smooth hiring process.

  • Sponsorship and Skilled Worker visa:

To employ a skilled worker from outside the UK, businesses must become a licensed sponsor. This involves applying to the Home Office and meeting specific criteria.

The sponsored worker must then obtain Skilled Worker visa, which permits them to work in the UK. The application process can be complex, so it is advisable to seek legal advice or use the services of an immigration specialist.

  • 2. Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS):

Once a business is a licensed sponsor and has identified a suitable candidate, they need to issue a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS). The CoS contains specific details about the job role, salary, and duration of employment. The sponsored worker will need this document to apply for their Skilled Worker visa.

  • 3. Right-to-work checks:

As an employer, it is your responsibility to verify that every employee has the right to work in the UK. Conduct thorough right-to-work checks on all candidates, regardless of their nationality, to avoid potential penalties or legal issues. This involves reviewing and retaining specific documentation, such as passports or residence permits.

  • 4. Compliance and reporting obligations:

As a licensed sponsor, businesses must fulfill ongoing compliance and reporting obligations to maintain their sponsor status. This includes updating the Home Office about any significant changes in an employee's circumstances, such as changes in their job role, salary or employment status.

  • 5. Cultural awareness and integration:

Appointing someone from overseas means embracing diversity and cultural differences. Foster an inclusive environment by promoting cultural awareness and sensitivity within your organisation. Encourage employees to appreciate and respect different perspectives, traditions and languages.

  • 6. Language proficiency:

Consider the language requirements for the role and ensure the candidate has the necessary language proficiency to perform their job effectively. This may involve assessing their English language skills during the recruitment process or providing language training if required.

Appointing someone from overseas can bring valuable skills, perspectives and diversity.

However, it is crucial to navigate the immigration system and fulfill the necessary documentation and compliance requirements.

By understanding the process, engaging in cultural integration and maintaining compliance, business owners can successfully hire and integrate overseas talent into their workforce, fostering a dynamic and globally aware organisation.