Are Skilled Workers allowed to work remotely?

Hybrid and remote working became the norm during the Covid 19 pandemic. However, even after the epidemic, many UK employers are still practicing and continue to allow workers to carry on with remote and hybrid working.

If you are a sponsor license holder and are currently sponsoring migrant workers, it is important to be aware that there might be some limitations to this type of working pattern.

During the pandemic, the sponsors had no obligations to notify the Home Office if a skilled worker migrant was working from home. However, the Home Office has now published a new policy guidance.

According to the latest version of amended part 3: sponsor duties and compliance guidance, C1.19. Employers are obliged to report the change of work location, including such:

  • the worker is, or will be, working at a different site, branch or office of your organisation, or a different client’s site, not previously declared to us
  • the worker is, or will be, working remotely from home on a permanent or full-time basis (with little or no requirement to physically attend a workplace)
  • the worker has moved, or will be moving, to a hybrid working pattern

Please note that there is a significant difference between hybrid and remote working, which is set out in C1.20:

A “hybrid working pattern” is where the worker will work remotely on a regular and planned basis from their home or another address, such as a work hub space, that is not a client site or an address listed on your licence, in addition to regularly attending one or more of your offices or branches, or a client site.

“Working remotely” is instead referred to as working from home on a permanent or full-time basis without physically attending a workspace. This pattern might lead to question the genuineness of the job as the worker does not effectively need to be physically in the UK.

The L1 user will have to use the ‘Report migrant activity’ function in the SMS and do it no later than 10 working days after it occurs, see SMS Manual 9: reporting worker activity for further instructions.

Apart from reporting the working address changes, you must also report other changes in connection with the sponsored migrant, for instance if a worker does not report for work, changes to their employment, absences over 10 days without permission, and if an employee no longer works for your company.


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