Appendix D: Evidencing salary
for your sponsored

In December 2020, the Skilled Worker route opened for applications, replacing the Tier 2 (General) visa as the main immigration route into the UK for skilled workers. The new route introduced some key changes compared with the previous Tier 2, including new minimum salary thresholds. Employers sponsoring workers under the Skilled Worker route must keep accurate records to show the Home Office that they are paying their sponsored workers in line with these new rules.

To coincide with the launch of the Skilled Worker route, the Home Office published updated guidance documents to help employers understand the sponsorship process and how to comply with their duties as a licenced sponsor.

Alongside the updated guidance, the Home Office also revised Appendix D, the document which lists the type of evidence that employers must retain in relation to their sponsor licence. Over the coming weeks, Smith Stone Walters will be publishing a series of articles focused on key sections of the Appendix D document, to help sponsors gain a better understanding of their record keeping responsibilities.

In part three of the series, we explore the new salary rules under the Skilled Worker route, and the types of evidence employers are required to keep to demonstrate their sponsored workers are being paid an appropriate salary for the route.

What are the salary rules under the Skilled Worker route?

Under the Skilled Worker route, applicants must be paid at least the minimum salary of £20,480, or the ‘going rate’ (or, in some cases, a proportion of the going rate) for the occupation, whichever is higher.

The salary stated on the Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) should include only guaranteed basic gross pay, before income tax and including employee pension and national insurance contributions. You should not include any other allowances, pay or benefits in this figure, even if they are guaranteed.

It is also important to note that the Home Office will only take into account salary for up to a maximum of 48 hours per week, even if the applicant works more hours than this. More information on how to calculate salary for your skilled workers can be found here.

Which documents should employers keep?

There are a number of records relating to salary which employers should keep on file for each worker they are sponsoring under the Skilled Worker route. This evidence includes:

  • Copies of the sponsored worker’s payslips clearly showing the following information:
    • The employee’s name
    • National Insurance (NI) number
    • Tax code
    • Any allowances paid
    • Any deductions made.
  • Account records to show the transfer of each payment into the named sponsored worker’s bank account or pre-paid card
  • A copy of any employment contract between the sponsor and the worker which clearly shows all of the following:
    • The names and signatures of all involved parties (usually only the employer and the employee)
    • The start and end dates of the contract
    • Details of the job the sponsored worker has been contracted to do
    • The worker’s contracted hours
    • An indication of how much the worker will be paid
  • Evidence of the value of any allowances made as part of the sponsored worker’s salary package, unless these are clearly shown in the employment contract or payslips.

Further information on the documents employers should keep can be found in Appendix D of the guidance for sponsors, available online here.

Support with maintaining sponsor compliance

If you have any questions about which documents you should be retaining, or if you require support on any other area of sponsor compliance, Smith Stone Walters can help.

Our team of immigration experts can offer up-to-date advice and practical support to ensure your business is fulfilling its legal obligations and is prepared for any Home Office compliance visit.

To speak to a member of the team, please contact us today.

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