26 March 2024
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Employment: To The Point

To The Point
(5 min read)

Highlights in this business immigration and international mobility edition include: a look at the latest changes to right to work checks and what it means for employers as well as the changes to the UK skilled worker visa route which are on the horizon.  We examine National Minimum Wage legislation and the government's initiative for employers to provide more occupational health support in the workplace. We also include our usual round-up of news, our horizon scanner and information on forthcoming events.

UK business immigration: significant changes to the rules imminent

The start of 2024 has seen the announcement of some of the most important and impactful changes to UK immigration law in recent years.  The use of visa sponsorship by employers has increased by over 230% since 2014 and therefore any change to the sponsorship system has a significant impact on a wide range of employers.  The increased use of visa sponsorship by employers is arguably at odds with the Government's desire to reduce net migration and many of the recent changes seem targeted at bringing this down.  

Of particular note is the change to the salary threshold for skilled worker sponsorship.  The headline grabbing change is that the minimum salary threshold for sponsorship is increasing from £26,200 to £38,700.  That is a significant jump and leaves many employers, who were already grappling with labour market shortages, scratching their heads as to how they will fill their roles.  Now more than ever, therefore, employers need to be aware of the situations in which a reduced salary threshold will apply for an application, and of how best they can make the UK immigration system work for them.  

Employment: To The Point Industrial
Editorial by Sarah Harrop

Key changes to UK right to work check guidance: What employers need to know

We provide a summary of the key changes to the Government's Employer Guide on Right to Work Checks and practical tips for employers to follow. Find out what it means for employers here.

National Minimum Wage Breaches – Is there truly shame

The Government has recently published the latest "name and shame" list with over 500 organisations in breach of National Minimum Wage legislation.  We take a look at the complexities of the legislation here

Action Plan for UK Occupational Health: Key developments for employers 

Following last year's Working Better Consultation on occupational health provision, the Government's new Occupational Health Taskforce outlines plans for a voluntary framework for employers.  Read the key developments here.

UK Immigration Update: Latest changes and what they mean for employers

There have been a number of recent changes to the UK Immigration Rules.  We have highlighted the key points of note for employers and sponsors.  Read about the latest developments here.  

International: Irish Government announces largest ever expansion to the employment permit system

Significant changes to the Irish employment permit system have recently been announced which will create opportunities for businesses in Ireland.  Find out what employers need to know here.  


What else you should know

  • From 6 April 2024, there will be an increase to the limits on tribunal awards based on an RPI increase of 8.9%. The new limits will be as follows:
    • The limit on a week's pay will be £700 (up from £643).
    • The minimum basic award for certain unfair dismissals will be £8,533 (up from £7,836).
    • The maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissal will be £115,115 (up from £105,707).
  • The government has published an updated Code of Practice on Dismissal and Re-engagement in response to last year's consultation which it expects to come into force in summer 2024.  For more information on the consultation see our article here.  

    The updated Code will still apply regardless of the number of employees affected and while it will not apply in a genuine redundancy situation, it has been amended to clarify that it will apply in situations where an employer envisages both redundancy and dismissal and re-engagement in respect of the same employees and will continue to apply for as long as dismissal and re-engagement is an option.  The updated Code has also taken account of responses to the consultation and removed the requirement for an employer to re-examine the business strategy if the employees show they are unwilling to accept the contractual changes.  Instead, the employer will be required to re-examine its plans after sharing the information sharing and consultation stages.  Dismissal and re-engagement must still be treated as a last resort.
  • For the latest developments on remote and flexible working in Ireland see Introduction of the Code of Practice on Remote Working and Flexible Working in Ireland here
  • For our latest Horizon Scanner covering all the latest legislative developments and forthcoming cases in employment law, visit our website page here.  

Upcoming events

Register for our new series 'Doing Business Globally: 45-minute guides to key business and legal trends' where we provide an overview of key legal, economic and cultural insights from six of our locations. You can find more information and register for each webinar here

Our latest Employment Law Returner Training Programmes is returning in May. The training sessions are designed for in-house employment lawyers, senior HR managers as well as our own lawyers here at AG who have been away from the workplace for an extended time maybe on family leave, sickness absence or sabbatical, and cover key developments in legislation, case law and other changes in employment law during the previous year. If you or anyone in your team would be interested in attending or for further information, please contact Renee Lofthouse.

For our Employment and Immigration Training Calendar 2024 listing all our client training events, please visit our website page here. 

To the Point 

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