Update: Tier 2 (General)
shortage occupation list

Employers take note: The UK’s Shortage Occupation List (SOL) was amended on 6 October 2019 to include a number of new occupations.

The full Statement of Changes, detailing the jobs now added to the shortage occupation list (P.84), can be viewed here.

As we reported on 11 September 2019, the new changes have been applied following a recommendation made by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC).

All Tier 2 sponsors should note, the list now includes a number of new (or expanded) Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) codes including the following widely used digital and IT occupations:

  • All IT business analysts, architects and system designer roles SOC code 2135
  • All programme and software development roles SOC code 2136
  • All web design and development professional roles SOC code 2137
  • Cyber security specialists classified under SOC code 2139

A number of UK restauranteurs will also welcome these changes given they can now hire skilled chefs (SOC code 5434) into their kitchens even if their business is providing a takeaway service. Other key occupations added to the list include all civil engineering roles (SOC code 2121) and architects (SOC code 2431).

Are you recruiting for a ‘shortage’ occupation?

If your company is currently seeking to sponsor a non-EEA national into a ‘shortage’ role, you will find the Tier 2 rules are a lot less stringent. Namely:

  • Exemption from the Resident Labour Market Test (‘RLMT’) – The ‘shortage’ vacancy does not need to be advertised by your organisation.
  • Exception on attaining salary level – A ‘shortage’ worker is not obliged to meet the minimum earnings threshold when applying for Permanent Residence.
  • Lower costs – The government applies reduced Tier 2 application fees in relation to those occupations listed on the shortage list.
  • Priority allocation – Roles on the shortage occupation list are awarded priority allocation when the ‘cap’ on the monthly allocation of certificates of sponsorship is reached.

Smith Stone Walters – How we can help

These changes are significant and will affect Tier 2 sponsors seeking to hire talented professionals into key UK based vacancies.  By partnering with Smith Stone Walters, we can make certain the latest immigration rule changes are applied to your recruitment processes and ensure your business is ready to meet future immigration challenges and changes head on. Contact us today.

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