The 185-page document contains significant amendments, including increased salary thresholds that will come into effect from 12 April. The increases were based on the latest available UK salary data and were implemented to ensure that migrant worker salaries do not undercut wages in the UK labour market.
Clarification for applicants with variable weekly working hours
The Statement of Changes also provides clarification regarding how salaries will be calculated for applicants who work a different number of hours each week:
“If the applicant is being sponsored to work a pattern where the regular hours are not the same each week, resulting in uneven pay:
- work in excess of 48 hours in some weeks can be considered towards the salary thresholds, providing the average over a regular cycle (which can be less than, but not more than, 17 weeks) is not more than 48 hours a week; and
- any unpaid rest weeks will count towards the average when considering whether the salary thresholds are met; and
- any unpaid rest weeks will not count as absences from employment for the purpose of paragraph 9.30.1 in Part 9 of these rules.
For example, an applicant who works a pattern of 60 hours a week for £12 per hour for two weeks, followed by an unpaid rest week, will be considered to work 40 hours a week on average and have a salary of £24,960 (£12 x 40 x 52) per year.”
These changes affect Certificates of Sponsorship assigned after 1 April
Since the UK’s national minimum wage rates increased on 1 April, it’s important to make sure that any Certificates of Sponsorship you’ve assigned since then meet the new salary thresholds as well as the national minimum wage regulations.
The Home Office has the right to refuse an application under most sponsored work and temporary work routes if they believe that the job fails to adhere to either the National Minimum Wage Regulations or Working Time Regulations, which limit average working time to a maximum of 48 hours per week.
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