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Tier 2/work permit - changes to the resident labour market test

24 November 2009

The Government announced today that in order to protect the domestic labour force, UK employers will be required to advertise all vacancies for a minimum of 4 weeks before they can employ a foreign worker.

This will replace the current requirement under  the Tier 2/  of the Points Based System for companies to conduct 2 weeks resident labour market test, or one week for jobs where the salary exceeds £40,000 before a vacancy is filled by an overseas worker.

Following recommendations of the independent Migration Advisory Committee in their Tier 2 report published on 19 August 2009, the Government accepted the MAC's proposed changes in full.  Further amendments to Tier 2/  of PBS will be implemented in spring 2010.

Phil Woolas, the UKBA Minister, believes that as the country comes out of the economic downturn the resident workers looking for skilled jobs should be offered better support. The Government’s intention is to ensure that skilled foreign workers are not employed at the expense of British workers or are treated as a cheaper alternative to investments in the training of the existing workforce.

The new requirement will affect advertising campaigns starting on or after 14 December 2009. Those employers who advertised prior to that date will be exempt from fulfilling this new requirement.

However, the advertising campaign does not have to run continuously for 4 weeks period. UK employers can advertise initially for 2 weeks and if there are suitable resident workers available they can be recruited as quickly as possible. When no suitable resident worker is found to fill in the position, the resident labour market must be tested for a further two weeks (4 weeks in total) before UK employers can appoint a migrant worker.

You should contact one of our registered consultants if you are concerned or wish to know more on how those changes might impact your immigration status and future options.

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