Can I work a second job
on a Health and Care
Worker visa?

As the cost of living crisis continues to impact households across the UK, many people are considering taking on extra work to help make ends meet.

Although taking on a second job is a serious commitment for any worker, foreign nationals being sponsored under certain categories of work visa should take extra care to ensure they are not violating the conditions of their visa.

Some sponsored workers can take on additional paid work, known as ‘supplementary employment’, provided they are continuing to work in the job listed on their Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS).

Under the Skilled Worker route, migrant workers can work up to 20 hours a week in a job that’s either:

  • In the same occupation code and at the same level as their main job
  • In a shortage occupation.

Previously, the same rules applied to healthcare professionals being sponsored on a Health and Care Worker visa. However, the rules have recently changed to allow Health and Care Worker migrants to work more than 20 supplementary hours without having to notify the Home Office.

20-hour cap lifted for Health and Care Worker visa

In February 2023, the Home Office announced a change to the supplementary employment rules for sponsored workers on a Health and Care Worker visa.

The change lifted the 20-hour cap on supplementary employment, meaning Health and Care Workers are now permitted to work in a second job for as many hours as they like without updating their visa, providing the extra job is also eligible for a Health and Care Worker visa.

If your extra job is not eligible for a Health and Care Worker visa, you can still work up to 20 hours a week if the job is in a shortage occupation.

Notifying the Home Office

Supplementary employment does not have to be with a licensed sponsor and the Home Office does not need to be informed of the additional work, as long as it follows the guidelines outlined above.

However, you will need to apply to update your visa if you’re going to either:

  • Get a job that’s not an eligible Health and Care Worker visa job or in a shortage occupation
  • Work more than 20 hours in a job in a shortage occupation that’s not eligible for a Health and Care Worker visa.

To apply, you’ll need to get a Certificate of Sponsorship from your second employer and include a letter with your application explaining that you want to change your current permission to stay.

Working a second job after 27 August 2023

The exemption has been introduced for an initial period of six months, and will be reviewed in August 2023. The current guidance states that from 27 August 2023, sponsored Health and Care Workers will only be able to do up to 20 hours of additional paid work without updating their visa.

The job will need to be either:

  • In the same occupation code and at the same level as your main job
  • In a shortage occupation.

Considerations for employers

Employers of migrant workers on a Health and Care visa should be aware of the need to monitor working hours and ensure international recruits are continuing to do the job they are being sponsored for.

As the main employer, you have a duty of care to ensure that your employees are working safely and efficiently, taking into consideration their wellbeing and requirements for breaks and time between shifts in accordance with the Working Time Directive.

As with all employees, it should be made clear to international recruits that there is no obligation for them to work beyond their contracted hours for any organisation.

Sponsoring Health and Care Workers?

If your organisation is looking to recruit healthcare professionals from overseas, Smith Stone Walters can help.

Our team of immigration experts can assist your business with all aspects of sponsorship and compliance. To find out more about our services, please contact us today.

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