Seasonal Workers Pilot

The Home Office is introducing a Seasonal Workers Pilot for this year and next under its existing Points Based System.  The pilot will enable the recruitment of seasonal labour for work within the edible horticulture sector which will include protected and field vegetables along with soft fruits and mushrooms.  The Home Office have stated that Seasonal Workers may only be used for seasonal roles and such work is defined as “employment which fluctuates or is restricted according to the season or time of the year”.

Activities such as crop maintenance and harvesting and packing and processing of crops on employers premises will be included within the scope of the Home Office’s pilot.

Temporary Short Term Workers

The Home Office is aware that some employers have become reliant on lower skilled workers for certain jobs in particular industries such as construction and social care.  The Home Office are also proposing to introduce a time limited route for temporary short term workers in order to allow migrants to come to the UK for a maximum period of one year, with a cooling off period of a further one year in order to prevent people effectively working in the UK on a permanent basis.  The Home Office’s position however is that the visa will not allow migrants to access welfare benefits or seek to extend their stay in the UK.  Such migrants will also not be able to switch into other routes nor bring dependents with them to the UK.

The Home Office has stated that this low skilled immigration arrangement will be a transitional one which will be kept under review in order to ensure that the scheme meets the requirements of the UK’s economy but it has retained the ability to close down this route should they consider that the UK’s economic conditions warrant its abolition.

For advice on this or any other immigration matter, please contact Sohan Sidhu.