It has always been a requirement for sponsors to comply with UK employment Laws when employing migrant worker, however following the recent statement of changes from 12 April 2023 the Home Office can now refuse applications where it has reason to believe that the sponsored worker’s employment does not comply with the National Minimum Wage and Working Time Regulations.
This year the Home Office increased the minimum hourly rate for sponsorship to £10.75 in response to the new National Minimum Wage which saw the £10.10 hourly rate increase to £10.42 per hour. Whilst on this occasion the Home Office ceased the opportunity to update salaries (mainly as a result of other changes to salaries in Appendix Skilled Occupations), this may not always be the case in the future. It is the responsibility of the sponsor to ensure that the annual salary and weekly working hours are based upon at least the National Minimum Wage and the minimum for the Standard Occupation Code identified for the job.
How does this affect 48-hour opt out agreements
As previously, the Home Office will only take into account the sponsored worker’s salary based on a 48 hour working week, so if the migrant worker was to work additional hours in an attempt to meet the salary requirements, this will not work. The only change here is if the migrant worker is expected to work irregular hours each week resulting in uneven pay, then the new rules will allow any time worked in excess of 48 hours in some weeks to meet the salary threshold.