Why do we care?
Or more accurately, why do we care about care?
Like much of the population, we were, and are, angry about the government’s treatment of care workers in the context of immigration. The pandemic brought into sharp focus how indebted we are to all care workers in the UK, many of whom are not British.
We’re glad to see Senior Care Workers recognised on the Shortage Occupation List, although we question the logic of continuing to exclude other, ‘non-senior’ care workers.
We like the Health & Care Worker Visa, although we’d prefer to see eligibility extended to more care workers.
We welcomed the reimbursement of the Immigration Health Surcharge, although we wish the process for claiming reimbursements was simpler for care workers.
We like that free visa extensions were offered to some healthcare providers during the pandemic. We don’t like that care workers were excluded, senior or otherwise.
And of course, the government continues to insult care workers by describing them as ‘unskilled’.
How can we help?
We’ve written a Sponsor Licence Legal Guide, which is completely free to access. It’s not unique to the care sector, but it will give you a good overview of the process and the requirements. For information specific to the care sector, please see our blogs linked above.
You can also get in touch. We’re always keen to hear from care providers, and we offer a free, 20-minute, no-obligation consultation, during which we can give you some general information and you can decide whether you’d like our help with your sponsorship plans.
If you become our client, we offer transparent pricing and a flexible stage-by-stage approach. You’ll only pay for the stage(s) you need, and you’ll know from the outset how much we’ll charge.
Our experience has shown us that the companies providing care are as diverse as the needs of the people they serve. Whether you provide domiciliary care, supported living, residential care, a combination of the above or something in between, we can guide you through the process of sponsoring workers, from start to finish.
Sponsorship in the care sector: the key issues
There’s lots more info in our legal guide and blogs, but here’s some headlines relating to the key issues.
Care Worker or Senior Care Worker?
Headline: Senior Care Workers can be sponsored, Care Workers cannot.
A big part of our service to care providers is helping you navigate the difference, and avoid the common pitfalls. We’ve recently helped Nursing Assistants and Team Leaders fall under the all-important classification of a Senior Care Worker.
Minimum salary requirement
Headline: Senior Care Workers are on the Shortage Occupation List, which means the minimum salary requirement is lower.
Normally, you must pay your Senior Care Workers at least £20,480 gross per annum. I say “normally” because it’s very dependent on the number of hours your Senior Care Worker will actually work, and this is something we’d discuss with you in detail.
Headline: the formal advertising requirement, known as the resident labour market test, has been abolished, which is a relief to us all. You still need to show a genuine vacancy, and often the best way to do this is through a job advert. Not so if your worker is already working for you.
We’ll advise exactly what you need to do to show a genuine vacancy, and we’ll review the wording of your job advert to make sure it meets the requirements.
How do we apply for a licence?
Start by identifying who in your organisation will be responsible for your licence. You also need to make sure you can comply with sponsor licence duties in case you are inspected by the Home Office. You should also understand the timescales involved with sponsorship.
All of the above, as well as the actual process for applying for a sponsor licence, is covered in our detailed Sponsor Licence Legal Guide.