guidance for employers

New rules now apply to businesses employing EU nationals to work in the UK , UK nationals to work in the EU and travel to the EU.  

Last updated: 12 January 2021

The UK's points-based immigration system is now open for applications

The rules for hiring workers from the EU have changed. You can find out the actions you need to take by visiting gov.uk/transition and using the checker tool.

The UK has introduced a points-based immigration system that will treat EU and non-EU citizens equally and transform the way in which employers recruit internationally.Points Based Immigration System - Introduction for Employers

The new points-based system ensures we prioritise and invest in the people already in the UK, upskilling our current work force, whilst also attracting the best and brightest from around the world.

The changes for businesses include:

  • The need to be a licensed sponsor to hire eligible workers from outside the UK. This normally takes 8 weeks and fees apply. Check your business is eligible and read the accompanying sponsorship guidance.
  • New job, salary and language requirements will apply to anyone that you want to hire from outside the UK. Check that the people you want to hire will meet the requirements for coming to the UK for work.

The new system does not apply to hiring Irish citizens, or EU citizens already living and working in the UK who are eligible under the EU Settlement Scheme.

The Government will continue to provide the information and support your need to prepare for these changes. This includes sector-specific webinars to walk you through the actions you need to take. All previously recorded webinars are also available on demand now.

If you do not take action, there is a risk your business operations will be interrupted.

EU Settlement Scheme

If you are an EU citizen, resident in the UK by 31 December 2020, you and your family members (including non-EU citizens) need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue to live, work and study in the UK beyond 30 June 2021. Even if you have lived in the UK for many years or you have a permanent residence document, you still need to apply. The staying in the UK as an EU citizen section of the gov.uk website includes an online tool to help you find out what to do and when.

Employer Toolkit
An EU Settlement Scheme Employer Toolkit has been designed to make it easy for you to provide clear and accurate information to the EU citizens and family members you employ.

Business Travel

To visit Europe there are things you will need to do before you travel, including checking if your passport is valid through to driving permits for certain countries. Business travel includes activities such as travelling for meetings and conferences, providing services (even with a charity), and touring art or music. Find out more on the gov.uk websiteSign up for email alerts and check travel advice for the country you’re visiting to get the latest information.


Contact us

As always, Dorset LEP’s Dorset Gateway team is ready to offer specific business support. We are available on the contact information below. We are happy to be able to help our local businesses at this time with our free bespoke business advice and signposting.

Make an enquiry with Dorset Gateway here