How much does it cost to sponsor hospitality workers in the UK?

How much does it cost to sponsor hospitality workers in the UK?

Today, unprecedented labour shortages are affecting businesses and industries across the UK. With the UK being a popular travel destination and travellers from around the world making their way in a somewhat post-pandemic world, these labour shortages are creating a significant impact on the hospitality industry.

According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), the hospitality industry had increased to 252,000 jobs by March 2022. This figure had increased from February to April 2022 to a record 1,295,000 job vacancies.

Businesses are finding that recruitment remains the key crisis and existing employees are forced to clock in more hours to keep up with the demands of the sector. Since this cannot be a sustainable business model for the future of the hospitality industry, businesses in the sector are now turning to solutions for the labour shortages outside of the UK.

The hospitality industry is projected to grow during 2022 and is expected to return to pre-pandemic revenues. Businesses that are unable to find the skilled talent they’re searching for are, therefore, turning to the international labour market to keep up with the growing demand.

How can hospitality businesses hire the right talent?

There are many reasons why hiring employees from the international labour market can help your business. From getting internationally experienced chefs and other kitchen staff to skilled workers that can cater to international travellers using their knowledge in foreign languages, there are several benefits in taking this route.

Before committing yourself to hire from the international market, however, consider if it’s the right option for you. Think about whether you’ve exhausted the local UK labour market and make sure there are no viable candidates to fill your job vacancies.

If the required talent isn’t available, you can turn to hire skilled workers from overseas. The first step you should take is finding out whether the jobs you’re hiring for are eligible for sponsorship. You’ll find that not all jobs can be filled by international workers and spending some time gathering information about eligibility for sponsorship can save you a lot of time and money in the process.

For instance, job roles such as hotel manager, hospitality manager, restaurant manager, and similar roles are eligible for sponsorship through a Skilled Worker visa. You can view the complete list of eligible occupations and other information on the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) website.

How much does it cost to sponsor hospitality workers in the UK?

Firstly, regardless of who you’re hiring or through what sponsorship route, you’ll need to pay £199 to assign a CoS to your preferred candidate.

Other fees will largely depend on the type of occupation you’re hiring for, the size of your organisation, and how long the worker is expected to work for you.

For example, sponsors will be required to pay the following amounts as the immigration skills charge once the certificate of sponsorship (CoS) is assigned to the sponsored candidate.

Type of sponsor First 12 months After 12 months
Small sponsors £364 £182
Medium or large sponsors £1000 £500

*It should be noted that the Home Office has given guidelines on parameters that decide the scale and size of the organisation.

If you fail to pay the immigration skills charge or have made an incorrect payment, then the UKVI will get in touch with you to make the payment within 10 business days. If the payment is not made, the visa application for the skilled worker will be rejected.

In addition to the CoS fee and the immigration skills charge, you may also need to pay various other Home Office fees such as visa fees, immigration health surcharge, and priority visa service fees depending on specific circumstances (as an employer, you’re not liable to pay these fees as these are required to be paid by the visa applicant, but you can decide to pay these fees on behalf of your candidate).

What’s the refund policy?

A full refund of the immigration skills charge will be made if:

  • The worker’s visa application is rejected or withdrawn
  • The worker’s visa is successful, however, the worker does not come to work for you

A partial refund may be made if the worker:

  • Gets less time on their visa than what you’ve sponsored for
  • Commences working for you but switches to another sponsor
  • Leaves the job before the end date mentioned on the CoS

Your business can also get a partial refund if you’ve paid the medium to large sponsor fee but have notified the UKVI that you’re a small sponsor.

You can obtain your refund within 90 days of:

  • Informing the UKVI that the worker has not come to work for your business
  • The expiration date on the worker’s CoS if the worker doesn’t use it to apply for a visa
  • The date the visa application is withdrawn or rejected
  • The date you assign the CoS if you had already notified the UKVI that you’re now a small sponsor

The process of hiring international talent can be a difficult and confusing one. This is why at Nation.better we have a team of immigration experts who are ready to help you with end-to-end immigration services to help you sponsor hospitality workers in the UK.

Get in touch with our team today and enjoy a seamless process to hire international talent for your UK-based hospitality business.

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