If you are a UK employer, you may want to recruit a skilled worker from outside the European Economic Area. If you choose to sponsor them for a Tier 2 (General) visa application, you must normally complete a Resident Labour Market Test unless the job to be filled in on the UK’s Shortage Occupation List.
The Resident Labour Market Test requires employers to advertise a position in the UK in certain prescribed ways to provide evidence to the UK Border Agency that there is no suitable worker already within the UK workforce who could do the job. You do not have to complete a Resident Labour Market Test if:
- the job is on the Shortage Occupation List
- the job is an Intra Company Transferor
- if the migrant is already in the UK in one of the following immigration categories namely:
- Tier 1 (Post Study Work) visa – this category was closed to new applicants in April 2012
- the International Graduates Scheme
- the Fresh Talent Working in Scotland Scheme
- the Science and Engineering Graduates Scheme.
You are also exempted if
- The salary for the job will be £152,000 or above
- The worker is a doctor or dentist doing specialty training and their salary is being paid by an overseas government as part of an international agreement
- The migrant is currently a UK student (Tier 4) and has passed his/her final exams and
- Has been (or will be) awarded a recognized UK bachelor’s or postgraduate degree
- Has been (or will be) awarded a UK postgraduate qualification in education or
- Has completed at least 12 months of study for a Ph.D. in the UK
Completing a valid Resident Labour Market Test
To complete a satisfactory Resident Labour Market Test you must, in most cases
- Advertise in the UK in two places which are suitable for the industry and job in question
- Include the following in the advert
- The job title
- Main duties and responsibilities of the job
- The location
- Salary package or range
- Necessary skills, qualifications, and experience
- Closing date for applications
- Advertise for the required length of time
Usual procedure: Jobs advertised on Jobcentre Plus
For most jobs, you should advertise on the UK government’s Jobcentre Plus website – or the Jobcentre Online in Northern Ireland – and in one other place.
The vast majority of jobs with a salary under £71,000 per year should be advertised on Jobcentre Plus and in one other place. That place will be specified in the code of practice for that industry and position.
Please note, where no code of practice covers the job in question, it is only necessary to advertise on Jobcentre Plus.
The following jobs do not have to be advertised on Jobcentre Plus or Jobcentre Online
- Jobs with a total remuneration package worth over £71,000 per annum
- Jobs for named researchers
- Some jobs in the creative sector where advertising is not required because the migrant will be making ‘an additional contribution to the UK labor market’
- Jobs where there will be ‘stock exchange disclosure requirements
- University recruitment ‘milkround’ jobs
- Barristers’ pupillage places
- Shortage Occupation List Ph.D. level jobs
- Jobs which are exempt from the need for a Resident Labour Market Test
Although these jobs do not have to be advertised on the Jobcentre Plus site, all other Resident Market Labour Test rules apply.
Methods of advertising a job vacancy
Where the job has to be advertised in another medium as well as on Jobcentre Plus, you can use any of the following methods.
- National newspaper or professional journal
- Annual recruitment programme
- Rolling recruitment programmes.
- Recruitment Agencies and headhunters
- The internet
Documents related to the Resident Labour Market test must be kept for each recruitment method used.
1. National newspaper or professional journal
The job may be advertised using the employment section appropriate to the job, of a national newspaper or a professional journal. A national newspaper is one that is available throughout the United Kingdom from the majority of newsagents. A professional journal is one that is published for a particular field and is available nationally either at a majority of newsagents or through subscription.
- The Scotsman and The Herald are acceptable as suitable national newspapers for vacancies in Scotland and bordering counties of England.
- The Western Mail is acceptable for vacancies in Wales.
- The Belfast Telegraph is acceptable for vacancies in Northern Ireland.
2. Annual recruitment programme
An annual recruitment programme, known as a ‘milkround’ may be used; employers from a wide range of sectors visit universities to give presentations and interview students, usually as part of a university career fairs.
- A minimum of three European Economic Area universities must be included in the recruitment programme
3. Rolling recruitment programme
Employers can use rolling recruitment programmes to identify suitable candidates for positions that they cannot fill but they must still advertise each individual UK-based job to UK-resident workers first.
4. Recruitment agencies
If the relevant code of practice permits it, you can use a recruitment agency or headhunter to help you fill the post. The agency or headhunter may then recruit by advertising in Jobcentre Plus or a national newspaper or professional journal or website or by using its own contacts and research.
The Internet may be used to advertise a job.
- An appropriate Internet site will be specified in the relevant code of practice for the sector or job.
- An organization’s own website may be used but only if the organization is a multi-national or global company or a large organization with over 250 permanent employees in the United Kingdom.
After the Resident Labour Market Test
- If a UK-resident worker applies for the job and has all the correct qualifications, experience and skills, you cannot refuse to employ them. But, if no suitable UK-resident applies, you can offer the job to an international worker, providing you have a valid UKBA Tier 2 Sponsorship Licence.
- If you do offer the job to a worker from outside the European Economic Area, you must issue that worker with a Certificate of Sponsorship within six months of the Resident Labour Market Test adverts being placed
- A Certificate of Sponsorship must be issued within six months of placing the advert. This is to make sure that the results of the advertising reflect the current availability of the skills needed. The only exception is where an organization recruits a migrant using a milk round, when a Certificate of Sponsorship must be assigned within 12 months of the milk round.
- The Certificate of Sponsorship should specify the annual equivalent salary for the job if the migrant will be working in the United Kingdom for less than 12 months. For example, earnings of £10,000 on a six-month contract would mean an annual salary of £20,000.