Employers, aware of PBS!

The new points based immigration (PBS) rules come into play this month 03 November 2008. A leading think tank says that entrepreneurs fear they could be left with big gaps in their workforce numbers as migrant employees decide to return home. Employing Migrant Workers

Research released by Tenon Forum suggests that the number of small companies who employ migrant workers has doubled over the past two years – 48% of those questioned employ non-UK nationals, compared to just 21% back in 2006.

Given the recent weakening of Sterling and the economic downturn, nearly one third of those polled are worried that their foreign employees may want to return home. And now, employers are faced with new set of immigration rules which could force even more migrant workers to think about leaving the UK.

Under the new points based system (PBS), migrant workers who wish to enter or remain in the UK will have to pass a points based assessment consisting of five tiers. The points-based system only covers migrants from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland.

Migrants applying under any tier apart from tier one will need to be sponsored by a UK based employer.

Any UK business wishing to sponsor a migrant will need to apply for a licence – you can read full details on the Home Office site here.

Andrew Jupp, National Head of Tax at Tenon, commented:
"With so many entrepreneurial businesses now employing non-UK nationals, it is vital that managers make themselves fully aware of the new points based system for employing migrant workers – or they could be faced with fines of up to £10,000 per illegal employee. In times of such economic uncertainty, entrepreneurs need to make sure they have procedures in place which will protect their business from unnecessary disruption, and staff turnover is no exception."

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