Top 5 considerations before employing foreign nationals

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Top 5 considerations before employing foreign nationals

Employing foreign nationals may be the solution your organisation needs to bridge a labour gap, but there are important factors you should consider before doing so.

In recent years the jobs market has truly become a global market as many UK employers are hiring workers outside Great Britain and Northern Ireland. If you are considering this path, in the majority of cases, you will be seeking to employ a foreign national on a Skilled Worker Visa.

Top 5 considerations before employing foreign workers

Before hiring a foreign national, however, you need to be sure that you can answer yes to the following questions:

  1. Does your organisation have a sponsor license?
  2. Are advertising at a skill level of RQF3 or above?

  3. Does your prospective candidate speak English to a satisfactory level?

  4. Does the salary being offered meet the general salary threshold of £25,600 or the ‘going rate’ for your industry? (Whichever of the two is higher)

  5. Does your potential candidate score enough points under the new points-based immigration system?

This list is, of course, a simplification, and in some limited instances, exceptions apply to these points.

HR Team director, Breda Cullen, said: “Employing foreign nationals is a complex area. If you are in any doubt as to whether you satisfy the criteria required to hire a foreign national, or wish to employ a foreign national using an alternative route, be sure to contact employment law professionals at your earliest convenience for comprehensive advice and guidance.”



If an employer does not have enough work for their employees, they may need to consider:

• lay-offs (sending employees home temporarily)
• short-time working (reducing employees’ working hours)

These options may help avoid redundancies. But this should be a last resort (short of redundancy) for employers.

Employers should consider other options first, for example, agreeing with employees to:

• Take holiday time.
• Work from home.
• Work more flexibly.
• Take unpaid leave.

When can an employee be laid off or placed on short- time working.
By law, employers can lay off employees or put them on short-time working, in any of the following cases:

• It’s included in the employee’s employment contract.
• It’s a national agreement for the industry.
• It’s an agreement between your workplace and a trade union.
• It’s agreed by the employer and employee to change the terms in the employment contract.

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