What should employers consider in light of the Immigration Health Surcharge increase?

28 Nov 2023, 01 mins ago

Employers in the UK find themselves bracing for a significant wave – the surge in the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS). Set to hit shores in mid-January 2024, this increase demands a strategic response from employers, keen on navigating the thunderous waters of recruitment of overseas talent.

Picture this: a 66% hike, from the current £624 per adult per year, to a daunting £1,035. For students and those under 18, the discounted rate is not spared, catapulting from £470 to £776 per person per year. As the tides of change roll in, employers must chart their course wisely and consider several crucial actions.

Firstly, a meticulous review of recruitment budgets is imperative. Anticipate the impact of this fee surge on your financial plans for the year ahead.

Sponsorship strategies also require a keen eye. Submitting skilled worker applications ahead of the impending fee rise is a prudent move. Consider maximising the duration of sponsorship to five years to lock in the current, more palatable IHS rates.

Should you decide to submit any skilled worker applications ahead of the increase, you need to ensure that you have sufficient Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) allocations available. Apply promptly and consider using the priority change of circumstances service to avoid any delays.  

Employers could also consider a review of their employees’ contracts, to potentially incorporate clawback provisions. Such provisions might enable you to recover immigration costs if an employee’s tenure is cut short.

As the IHS surges, employers must be proactive navigators. By strategically adjusting budgets, optimising sponsorship, and fortifying employment contracts, they can ride the waves of change with resilience.

How Gherson can assist

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The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please do not hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.

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