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Employee Relocation To The UK- Employers’ Guide

As an employer, there are many reasons for wanting to relocate employees to the UK. Whichever reason you’ve got, you need to know that there are guidelines for relocating employees internationally, especially to the UK.

If you need help or more information on relocating your employees to the UK or help with sponsorship licenses or work visas, you can call us on 0333 305 9375 or contact us via live chat.

What You Should Know About International Relocation Of Employees

The digital world has made it easy for companies to employ workers globally. Companies can employ skilful workers to carry out designated assignments from anywhere in the world. It is one of the ways employers cut labour costs.

As beautiful as international remote work is, it is limited in certain cases. There are occasions when workers are needed to be on-site to carry out special assignments. Upper-level positions such as Managers, Supervisors, Executive roles, and some other roles are best effective when they are on-site.

In such a case, employers find it easier to relocate remote employees who are already familiar with the company’s mode of operation than to recruit new persons in the UK. As such, it might require an employer to relocate employees who are already remote workers to the United Kingdom to start a new role.

In another case, you might even employ a new employee from another country if he or she is the best hand you can get for your business. Whichever reasons you’ve got, there are a few things to know about the international relocation of employees. Each of these things will be discussed in the next few subheadings.

You Need A Global Relocation Policy

A global relocation policy will feature the services that will be available to your relocated employees. It further contains the aspect of the relocation process all foreign employees must abide by. A global relocation policy will contain the following:

  • The housing support provided by your organisation to every relocated employee. It must state whether the company will be providing the housing or whether the employees are expected to sort housing by themselves in the new country.
  • The necessary paperwork every relocating employee must have to fulfil to qualify for the corporate relocation process. This includes the type of visa, work permits, and other travelling documents to be used.
  • Available support for the relocated employees to get acquainted with their new location. This may include language support, familiarisation with the new environment and new office, and other needed stuff to help them settle in.

You Need An Employee Agreement And Contract

It is not enough to have a global relocation policy. You must equally have an employee agreement contract. This contract aids in mutual understanding of both employers and employees before the employee relocation. It entails the following:

  • The length of the assignment, i.e. the number of years the employee is expected to work in your company. The employment can either be short-term relocation, long-term relocation, or indefinite.
  • Employee roles and responsibilities. It must explicitly state all tasks the employee will be performing without keeping any out.
  • Remuneration and benefits attached to the role, including benefits such as health insurance and the relocation package. This must be in line with UK labour laws and regulations.
  • Contract termination clauses expressing what to do when either the employee or the employer is willing to terminate the contract.
  • Each party’s role in the relocation process. This should state the role of the employers in the relocation process, whether you will take responsibility for the moving expenses, provide cultural support, or help with family relocation. If not, it must be stated in the contract that the employee will bear the relocation costs.

You Must Be Ready To Give Necessary Support To Relocated Employees

Beyond relocating an adaptable employee to the UK, there are some other things you must do. It is important your human resources department give adequate support to the new employee in the UK. This helps them acclimatise themselves to the new role, new environment, and even the work. You must therefore do the following:

  • Allow the employee to settle in

Regardless of the urgency of the assignment, you must give a relocated employee enough time to settle in. This is why you must carry out employee relocation as early as possible. Allowing employees to settle in helps them to prepare for work adequately.

  • Get the employee familiar with co-workers

After arrival, you need to introduce the employee to other co-workers. This is necessary to help them identify colleagues and where to contact should anything be needed. More so, you must pair a relocated employee with a locally based staff member who can help guide them on a few things to know as they work.

  • Follow up and request for feedback

Periodically, until you are sure the employee is now in the system, you must check on him or her. This is required to understand if the employee is able to cope or finding it difficult to adjust. Get feedback on the challenges the employee is facing in the new country and provide solutions where necessary to facilitate a smooth working process.

Visas Needed For Relocating Employees Into the UK

You need to understand that visas and work permits are major considerations for international employee relocation. In the UK, there are different visa routes to relocate employees into the UK. As an employer, your prospective employee may have any of the following visas:

UK Expansion Worker Visa

UK Expansion Worker visa under Global Business Mobility is a visa for workers coming to work in a business outfit that has not started operation in the UK yet. Such a business must have a branch in another country overseas and seek international expansion.

As an employer, you must have got your business running in another country, and the worker coming to the UK must be one of your employees abroad. The worker is also expected to be a specialist employee or must have attained the position of a senior manager.

A certificate of sponsorship is one of the eligibility criteria to qualify for this visa. There are also eligible occupations to apply for this visa. The maximum number of times a worker can stay in the UK using the visa is 2 years. This visa also allows your worker to bring their family along if they are eligible.

Get in touch with our expert immigration lawyers to receive assistance on Employee Relocation To The UK.

Senior Or Specialist Worker Visa

Senior or Specialist Worker visa is similar to the UK Expansion Worker visa, just that the former requires the business to have a branch in the UK already. As an employer, you can bring employees abroad into the UK to resume work in your UK branch, provided the worker is already working in your overseas branch. The visa is a replacement for Tier 2 Intra Company Transfer Visa.

Applying for this visa requires a certificate of sponsorship with information about the worker’s role. It is also required that such workers are eligible to receive minimum wages of £42,400 per year.

The maximum stay in the UK for workers on this visa is 5 years in any 6 years, provided the worker is paid less than £73,900 a year. For a worker paid more than £73,900 a year, the maximum stay is 9 years in any 10 years. The visa allows your workers to bring their spouse and children into the UK as dependents if they are eligible.

Skilled Worker Visa

The Skilled Worker visa replaces the Tier 2 General Worker visa. The visa allows international employees to come to the UK for an eligible job with an employer approved by the Home Office.

Applying for this visa requires a certificate of sponsorship and information about the role the worker will be performing in your company, as prepared by the HR department. There are also eligible jobs qualified to take this visa route. The worker must also be eligible to be paid the minimum salary depending on the type of job and labour laws.

You must have employed the worker before they can start their application for this visa. This visa also requires the worker to prove their proficiency in the English language. The visa allows a worker to stay in the UK for 5 years but can be renewed for an extension. Workers on this visa can also bring in their spouses and children as dependents.

Scale-up Worker Visa

Scale-up Worker visa allows a worker to come into the UK and work with a fast-growing business, otherwise known as a scale-up business.

You will also need a certificate of sponsorship to bring in intentional employees using this visa route. Such a worker is also expected to stay in the UK for a minimum of 6 months. There are eligible occupations that qualify to apply for this visa, and the worker must be eligible to take the minimum salary in this job category.

Workers on this visa are permitted to stay in the UK for a maximum period of 2 years, after which they can apply for an extension of up to 3 years. Workers on this visa are allowed to apply for ILR and reside permanently in the UK after spending a period of 5 years. The visa also allows them to bring their spouses and kids into the UK as dependents, provided they are eligible.

What Is A Sponsor Licence And Why Is It Necessary?

A sponsor license is an important part of relocating employees to the UK. Employees coming into the UK from abroad must present a certificate of sponsorship before they can be issued a visa. As an employer, having a sponsor license allows you to issue a certificate of sponsorship to any employee you are relocating to the UK.

In a nutshell, you will need a sponsor license to relocate employees to the UK. Visas such as UK Expansion Worker visa, Senior or Specialist Worker visa, Skilled Worker visa, and Scale-up Visa all require the applicants to have a certificate of sponsorship.

If you have any questions about Employee Relocation To The UK, our team is happy to assist.

How can IAS Help

International employee relocation is a complex process. There are due processes to follow to ensure legal compliance. Recruiting employees internationally into the UK especially requires a process such as applying for a certificate of sponsorship, a work visa and work permit application, and the creation of an employment contract. Having a professional to guide you through the process eliminates the stress and complexity that comes with the entire process.

Immigration Advice Service provides help with your UK immigration process, including employee international relocations, moving process, and other relocation services. If you need help or more information on relocating your employees to the UK or help with sponsorship licenses or work visas, you can call IAS on 0333 305 9375 or contact us using our live chat.

We offer immigration advice sessions as face to face appointments at all of our UK offices, or via the phone.

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