Last week, the monthly limit on the number of Restricted Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) which can be issued was hit once again – for an unprecedented fifth month in a row.
Since December 2017, demand for Restricted CoS has outstripped supply, sending employers’ recruitment plans into disarray.
Employers need a Restricted CoS to sponsor workers from outside the EEA. To limit migration, the government limits the number of Restricted CoS to 20,700, with a fixed number allotted each month. This cap hasn’t been increased since it was introduced in 2011. Until December 2017, it had only been reached once.
When the limit is reached, the government imposes additional criteria for granting applications, and higher paid roles are prioritised. The usual minimum salary requirement is £30,000, but, since December, only applications with salaries higher than £60,000 have been guaranteed.
This is difficult for all sectors – but particularly Tech, which relies heavily on recruiting migrant workers with specific skill sets. And because many employees in the Tech sector also start out on a comparatively low salaries, the higher salary requirement is having a disproportionate impact.
This might be down to the uncertainty of Brexit, with companies relying more on the recruitment of migrants from outside Europe as EU workers leave the UK.
The increased drive to recruit from outside the EU doesn’t look like it’s slowing down. The Government has faced calls to reduce pressure on key sectors by excluding them from the quota. But, there’s no sign of this happening anytime soon.
If you’d like advice on sponsoring migrant workers, please get in touch.