Increasing sponsorship license fees in the United Kingdom are pricing SMEs out of access to immigrant labor. According to a new report, small and medium businesses are hesitant to hire EU workers in the post-Brexit environment due to the high expenses of doing so.
Following Britain’s exit from the European Union, UK businesses have been forced to shoulder the cost of sponsoring EU visa applications. While most larger organizations can tolerate the higher expenditures, smaller businesses are compelled to forego competent international employees due to prohibitively expensive fees.
Sponsorship fees for an EU employee with a spouse and two children (a family of four) to come to the UK can cost up to £20,000.
Such expenses are a significant burden for small businesses, and many argue that they are effectively a “skills tax.”
Reduce the cost of sponsoring licenses
The Home Office is now being pressed to reduce the cost of bringing skilled professionals to the UK.
The Home Office, on the other hand, has denied that the expenses are too expensive for businesses to bear. The government department’s representative stated: “Our new points-based immigration system has been designed to ensure businesses can access the talent they need on a global basis but employers should also be offering rewarding packages to UK-based jobseekers.”
“Those who benefit from using the UK Immigration system, including employers who use it to recruit, should contribute towards the costs of operating it, reducing the burden on the UK taxpayer. We already offer concessions for smaller businesses, who pay less for the Immigration Skills Charge than larger ones, and we keep fees under review,” the spokesperson added.
The Immigration Skills Charge for small businesses is currently £364, while medium to large companies is charged £1,000 per foreign worker.