16 Jul 2020

Post Brexit Immigration Points Based System

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Under the new scheme, overseas workers who want to come to the UK after free-movement ends on 31st December 2020, will have to meet certain criteria – or an equivalent of 70 points – to be able to work in the UK.

Points are awarded for factors such as whether the candidate speaks good English, the level of qualifications held and whether they hit a salary threshold of £25,600 (or lower for certain shortage occupations). At the same time the government plans to remove the resident labour market test, which requires employers to advertise certain roles locally before applying for a visa for a migrant worker.

How the point-based system will work

Test 1

Test 2





Employed by approved sponsor


Salary £20,480 –(Minimum) £23,039


Skilled job


Salary £23,040 – £25,599


English language


Salary £25,600 Or above


Job is a shortage occupation


PhD in relevant subject


PhD in STEM and relevant subject




Some employers, such as those in the IT industry will benefit from the scheme, due to the lower salary threshold (current limit for Tier 2 visa is £30,000) as well as the relaxation applicants must have a degree, and instead only needs A level equivalent. However, thousands of employers who currently hire workers from EU countries into lower paid roles, such as in hospitality, social care and food production now face their labour market being severely diminished.

Planning for 2021

As the scheme comes into force from January 2021, now is a good time for businesses to look at their non-UK workers and decide who they want to retain and also start looking ahead to how their talent pipeline might look in the future.

The first job for employers is to confirm which of their EU employees have already obtained settled status through the EU Settlement Scheme. For organisations looking to recruit anyone without settled status from the EU or beyond 31st December, getting a sponsor licence should also be a priority, as compliance with Home Office requirements of sponsors is crucial.

Organisations should review and update policies and documentation currently in place around employee’s right to work, as well as consider how pay and conditions impact on attraction and retention.

In terms of the longer-term future of immigration into the UK, the government has indicated they want to make it more like the Australian system and may be refined version of the current highly skilled migrant programme, but this if it happens may take years to implement.

Long term skills planning

If employers adapt and adjust to the new labour market norm they should start seeing stronger pipelines of UK workers in sections where they have invested heavily in early career programmes such as apprenticeships. Maybe now is the time to make use of Rishi Sunak’s recently announced apprenticeship bonus scheme. From August 2020 to January 2021, any firm that hires a new young apprentice aged 16 to 24 will receive £2,000, while those that hire new apprentices aged 25 and over will be paid £1,500.

Recruitment strategies may need to change, so businesses start hiring on potential rather than current skills and experience. Many businesses are working much more remotely and virtually now, following the Covid outbreak, forcing businesses to review and adapt how they operate day to day. This will also change organisation’s strategy for recruitment and performance management.

Embracing innovation and losing old approaches to hiring and reliance on certain labour sources could place HR at the heart of organisations response to the fast-changing social, political and demographic changes going on. Business continuity and work force planning are as vital as ever to ensure businesses survive in our challenging future.

For all HR Support, please contact Juliet Mellues on 01793 818300 or email, juliet.mellues@monahans.co.uk