young woman, care home worker, helping an elderly man in a wheelchair

Following the news that all care home workers need to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 (unless they’re exempt), many care home owners have voiced concern about staff shortages. Could hiring overseas workers help?

From 11 November 2021, all care home workers need to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19, unless they are exempt under the regulations.

If you run a care home and are struggling to recruit staff from within the UK or have staff shortages, you may be able to hire employees from overseas through the Skilled Worker route if you have a Sponsor Licence. For more information on a Skilled Worker Sponsor Licence, see our article here.

Recruiting overseas workers to help with staff shortages in care homes – using the ‘Shortage Occupation List’

As part of the points-based immigration system, applicants applying to come to the UK through the Skilled Worker route will need to have a total of 70 points to be eligible for a work visa. The Skilled Worker route has a minimum salary requirement of at least £25,600 and a minimum skills threshold, which is equivalent to A-Levels.

Candidates and/or job roles in some sectors will be unable to meet these requirements and the Shortage Occupation List aims to acknowledge this.

The Shortage Occupation List sets out a list of jobs that British employers are struggling to recruit for and seeks to be responsive to the changing needs of industries across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

If a role is on the Shortage Occupation List, employees can be paid 80% of the job’s usual going rate to qualify for a Skilled Worker visa (provided all other requirements are also met). Earlier this year, senior care workers and nursing assistants were among the roles added to the Shortage Occupation List.

If you would like advice and assistance in applying for a Skilled Worker Sponsor Licence or you are an overseas national looking to apply for a Skilled Worker visa, please get in touch with our Immigration team. They advise both individuals and businesses on all aspects of UK immigration law.