The adoption of a points-based system for economic migration in 2006 changed employers' duties and liabilities when employing non-EU migrant workers. The points-based structure was designed to reflect a candidate’s value to the UK labour market, with the aim being to attract migrants who have the most to contribute to the UK. EU nationals currently have free movement within the EU, but since the UK's vote to leave the European Union, it's unclear what the UK’s future immigration policy will be.

This members-only factsheet focuses on the various routes under Tier 2 of the points-based system with which employers are primarily concerned, but also mentions the Tier 5 options. It outlines the sponsorship system, compliance and legal liability, and provides links to government information and advice for employers.

Background to the immigration framework

Employing EU migrants

Employing non-EU migrants

Sponsoring non-EU migrants

Enforcement and legal liability

Useful contacts and further reading

This factsheet was last updated by Gerwyn Davies.

Gerwyn Davies

Gerwyn Davies: Labour Market Adviser

Gerwyn is the CIPD’s Public Policy Adviser for a wide range of labour market issues. With lead responsibility for welfare reform, migration and zero-hour contracts at the CIPD, Gerwyn has led and shaped the policy debate and achieved substantial national media coverage through various publications. These include Zero-hours contracts: myth and reality (2013) and The growth of EU labour: assessing the impact on the UK labour market (2014). 

In addition Gerwyn authors the CIPD's high profile and influential quarterly Labour Market Outlook. Gerwyn is an experienced labour market commentator, making regular appearances in the national media and on other public platforms, including several appearances before the House of Commons Work and Pensions select committee.

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