Tuesday 18 October 2022
The Committee for Home Affairs has provided further clarification to businesses on the benefits of streamlining the Employment Permit Policy (EPP) framework, in advance of the debate on the Population and Immigration Policy Review.
One of the tenets of the review is the replacement of Medium-Term Employment Permits (MTEPs), as the vast majority of roles currently receiving this permit will qualify for Long-Term Employment Permits (LTEPs) under the new EPP framework.
Under the new policy framework almost all MTEP job types will be aligned with the UK 'Skilled Worker' visa list, and will therefore be categorised as LTEPs instead. This will provide a further boost to businesses seeking to recruit and retain good staff, as they will receive a permit for eight years (and a route to permanent residency) rather than the five years of an MTEP.
The removal of MTEPs was key to unlocking some of the main benefits of the new policy framework, namely enabling businesses to be able to recruit staff from anywhere in the world to all roles identified in the EPP, while avoiding any issues linked to Immigration 'settlement' rights.
In some limited cases, there may be job types where the member of staff requires training to develop into a role that will eventually be aligned with the UK list and therefore granted an LTEP. However, during the qualification or training period for those positions, the junior roles may not be aligned - an example being in professional services sectors.
The Committee has provided reassurance that these junior roles will not be limited to three-year STEPs. Instead, under the new EPP framework, the Committee is developing a system through which 'pathway' LTEPs will be utilised, initially granted for a period of up to three or four years in the first instance. At the end of this period, provided both employer and employee wish to continue, and the employee has gained the necessary experience, professional qualifications and professional body membership (which will then be aligned with the UK list), the pathway LTEP will be converted to a full LTEP.
Deputy Rob Prow, President of the Committee for Home Affairs, said:
'Our Committee is seeking to reassure the business community as we have become aware of some undue concern being expressed around the removal of MTEPs. The simple truth is the removal of MTEPs will make the recruitment and retention of staff easier, as in the vast majority of cases roles that would have secured an MTEP will now receive a Long Term Employment Permit instead. Our proposals following the Population and Immigration Policy Review will offer more flexibility for businesses trying to find the staff they need, not restrict them.'