A TWELVE-MONTH WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY FOR CARE WORKERS FROM 15.2.22
A change to the Immigration Rules coming into effect from 15 February 2022 will at long last allow Care workers to apply via the Skilled worker route under the Health and Care visa. The sponsor must be an eligible sponsor.
This is stated to be in response to the pressures of staff shortages engendered by the Covid Pandemic although the care sector has been struggling for many years with the pressures acutely exacerbated by the exodus of EU workers.
We noted months ago the pressing need for a review in this sector and believe that adding care workers to the Shortage Occupation List is an extremely positive development.
This means that Care Workers SOC 6145 (not just Senior Care Workers SOC 6146) will be eligible for sponsorship having been placed on the Shortage Occupation List.
A salary threshold which is the higher of £20480 and £10.10 per hour must be paid (instead of £25600 for other skilled workers). This is still higher than the “going rate” for care workers. During this period of one year on offer successful applicants will have all the same rights, benefits and obligations as other Health & Care visa holders - including the right to bring dependents and to settle permanently in the UK. This will be reviewed by the Government later this year.
The explanatory statement accompanying the Changes to the Rules make clear however:
“While home carers are included in the same occupation code, these changes are not designed to enable home carers to be sponsored as Skilled Workers, unless they are working for an organisation which is able to meet the sponsorship requirements. Private households or individuals (other than sole traders sponsoring someone to work for their business) cannot sponsor Skilled Workers.”
“A full Impact Assessment has not been prepared for this instrument because it responds to an interim recommendation by the MAC, which has identified a need to respond quickly to support the social care sector. The MAC is still considering its final recommendations and is expected to publish these at the end of April 2022”.
Author: Nilmini Roelens