Satisfying the Resident Labour Market Test – and the Tier 2 sponsorship process

With the imminent launch of a replacement for the Universal Jobmatch service, as some of the best immigration solicitors and recommended employment lawyers in London, we thought it was a good time to look at satisfying the Resident Labour Market Test when recruiting skilled workers from outside the EEA. We also consider some of the details employers should look out for when managing the Tier 2 sponsorship process, and ongoing compliance.
 
What is the Resident Labour Market Test?
 
Many of our clients are looking for an immigration solicitor who can advise them on how to recruit a ‘Tier 2’ worker from outside the European Economic Area (EEA). ‘Tier 2’ refers to skilled workers with long term job offers. An employer must satisfy a number of requirements to obtain a licence to be able to be able to sponsor a Tier 2 worker. Once the employer has a Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence, they must be able to satisfy the Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT) in respect of individual vacancies: they must be able to prove that the vacancy is genuine, that the role is skilled, and that there is no suitable candidate for the job locally.
 
In order to satisfy the RLMT, employers must advertise the role in at least 2 places. Currently, one of the places where the job must be advertised is on the Government’s free to list website, Universal Jobmatch. Following a competitive procurement process, a new website, Find A Job will take over.
 
Advertising on Find A Job to satisfy the RLMT
 
As immigration and employment lawyers in London, we’ve been keen to understand how the changeover will work. We understand that the new website will be up and running on 14th May 2018, and you will no longer be able to post jobs on Universal Jobmatch after 17th May 2018. If you have advertised a role on Universal Jobmatch in the last 6 months, it would be worth keeping copies of the advert to evidence this in case you need to go down the Tier 2 sponsorship route to fill the vacancy and issue a Certificate of Sponsorship to the worker you intend to hire. 
 
The Universal Jobmatch site will close on 18th June, and the adverts won’t migrate onto the new Find A Job platform.
 
Obtaining a Tier 2 licence
 
In order to be able to sponsor workers from outside the EEA, as an employer you must obtain a Tier 2 licence from the Home Office. Once your organisation has a licence, it will be able to sponsor workers to come into the UK to work.
 
To obtain a Tier 2 licence, you must satisfy some key requirements:
 
- Your organisation must be genuine and must be operating lawfully in the UK
 
You can evidence this through documents – the documents you need will depend on the status of your organisation, and our specialist team of immigration solicitors and employment solicitors can advise you on this.
 
- You will have to demonstrate your honesty and reliability
 
The Home Office will look at your organisation’s history and will scrutinise the backgrounds of the personal you are nominating to manage the Tier 2 sponsorship process within your organisation.
 
- You will have to satisfy the Home Office that you can carry out your Tier 2 sponsorship duties and demonstrate compliance
 
You’ll need to make sure you have a well-resourced HR department, up to date on all aspects of Immigration Law and employment law – someone from the Home Office may visit your premises to see how you do things. Our team of recommended employment solicitors can help you with this if you’re worried about your processes.
 
- You will have to demonstrate that you can offer genuine employment meeting the required skill levels and rates of pay specified for Tier 2 sponsorship.
 
In most cases, you’ll need to show that you have roles that meet or exceed Regulated Qualifications Framework level 6. There are some exceptions.
 
If your application for a Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence is refused, you must wait 6 months before reapplying. Given the complexities of the process, it’s worth working with some of the best immigration solicitors and recommended employment lawyers in London to make sure your application has the best chance of success.
 
Ongoing compliance with your Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence
 
Bring granted a Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence isn’t the end of the process. Once you have a licence, you need to be able to demonstrate ongoing compliance with the sponsorship process.
 
Reporting and Recordkeeping tasks for a Tier 2 Sponsor
 
As a licensed Tier 2 Sponsor, the nominated personnel within your organisation will have access to the sponsorship management system which will allow you to issue certificates of sponsorship and complete reporting and administrative tasks. A worker coming to fill a post under Tier 2 will need to provide the certificate of sponsorship number as part of the visa application process.
 
Holding a Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence involves significant record keeping responsibilities in relation to each worker you sponsor. You will also need to be able to comply with reporting duties and provide the Home Office with information they require, within specified time limits.
 
One of the requirements you may have to fulfil is to demonstrate that you have issued a certificate of sponsorship in circumstances where there was no one available locally to fill the role – which brings us back to the RLMT, and the need to make sure you have evidence to show that you advertised your vacancy in the appropriate places. 
 
The changeover to Find A Job should be no cause for alarm – just remember that if you are a currently advertising a vacancy on Universal Jobmatch, make sure you have evidence of this so that you don’t get caught out when this website closes and Find A Job gets up and running.
 
 
As highly ranked Legal 500 immigration solicitors, OTS Solicitors can offer your organisation advice from some of the best immigration solicitors in London. We work alongside our team of top employment solicitors to make sure your organisation has the best immigration and employment law advice available.
 

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