New shortage occupation roles

As we are nearing the end of the transitional period, new shortage occupation roles are discussed meaning employers may still be able to recruit for those roles from EU countries when the free movement of persons ends on 1 January 2021.

In the run up to the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020, government advisors have discussed the possibility of a number of new shortage roles being added to the shortage occupation list for the purposes of immigration.

This means employers should be able to recruit for those roles from abroad when the EU freedom of movement rules end post Brexit.

Butchers, bricklayers and welders are just some of the new roles it is thought will be added to the list in England. The Migration Advisory Committee also recommended allowing fishmongers, bakers and horticultural workers to work in Northern Ireland; childminders and nursery nurses in Scotland, and health professionals in Wales. This comes after the committee was asked to review a number of medium-skilled roles and decide which roles should be added ahead of the new points-based system which will be introduced on 1 January 2021.

Under the new scheme, EU migrants will be treated the same as those from the rest of the world. There will be a points-based system which takes different factors such as skills and language into account when rewarding visas. The system will require applicants to gain 70 points to be eligible, 50 of which will be made up of both having a job offer from an approved employer at an appropriate skill level and speaking English. The further 20 points can come from earning at least £25,600 or £20,480 if their role is on the shortage occupation list.

The Migration Advisory Committee also wants senior care workers and assistants to be added due to the current shortage. The recommendation came as the government’s advisory body on immigration expressed concern about recruitment in the social care sector once freedom of movement ends. Employers will no longer be able to recruit EU citizens for the lower-skilled roles in care homes as the post-Brexit immigration system bars overseas recruitment for roles needing less than the equivalent of A-levels.

Earlier this year there was also recommendations to add physiotherapists, pharmacists, modern language teachers and health service managers to the UK-wide list.

The list is currently under review and we will publish any further updates as and when we have them.


This information is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given. Please contact us for specific advice on your circumstances. © Shoosmiths LLP 2024.



Read the latest articles and commentary from Shoosmiths or you can explore our full insights library.