0370 270 6000

Doctors and nurses excluded from Tier 2 skilled workers annual cap

19 June 2018

In 2011 Theresa May as Home Secretary introduced a cap on skilled workers. The cap operated on an annual quota of 20,700, with a fixed number of spaces available each month for non-European Economic Area nationals sponsored under the Tier 2 (General) Visa. As at May 2018, this monthly quota has been exceeded for the sixth consecutive month resulting in a worrying increase in refusals for employers.

The Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, has announced that he will loosen immigration rules for a limited time (to be confirmed), and allow all Tier 2 visa applications from non-EEA doctors and nurses being recruited into the NHS.

The fact that these changes will be for a limited time raises the question as to whether they will only be a short term fix to the problem and it will therefore be interesting to see what the government do if the cap continues to be met.

He has also announced there will be a general review of the professions that qualify for visas, which could see a number of other skilled migrants being given the opportunity to work in the UK under Tier 2.

What does this mean for Employers?

As well as the obvious benefit to the NHS, it is envisaged that employers will be able to recruit an extra 8,000 skilled migrants a year from other highly-skilled professions, such as engineers, IT professionals and teachers.

Employers should note that these changes will only be for a limited time and noting the change will be outlined in the immigration rules laid before parliament on Friday we recommend that employers do not delay in applying for Certificates of Sponsorship, if they are intending to recruit non EEA nationals under a Tier 2 visa.

Related opinions

Potential care home vaccination challenge

Time is rapidly running out for those who will fall within the mandatory vaccination requirements applying to care homes from 11 November 2021 and who remain unvaccinated from Covid-19.

View blog

Compulsory vaccinations in care homes

Care homes will need to take steps to assess the impact of these Regulations on their workforce.

View blog

Flexible working, childcare and indirect sex discrimination – important reminder

The courts have long recognised that, on a societal level, women bear a greater burden of childcare responsibilities than men which can make it more difficult for women to comply with employer requirements for flexible working (known as the ‘childcare disparity’).

View blog

Mencap case: No entitlement to National Minimum Wage for sleep-in shifts

In a pivotal and much anticipated judgment for the social care sector, the Supreme Court has ruled that workers are not entitled to the National Minimum Wage for all time spent on a sleep-in shift.

View blog

Mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up