The Construction Leadership Council has published guidance on the movement of people and workers into the UK in respect of the expiration of the transition period with the European Union at the end of the year.

 The guidance offers an overview of the new points-based immigration system, the Common Travel Area (CTA), the skilled worker route, the shortage occupation list, how to become a licensed sponsor, the rights of EU, EEA and Swiss migrants, the mutual recognition of professional qualifications and the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) as well as useful links and resources. It is appropriate for all businesses across the industry and along the supply chain.

 The guidance has been issued by the Movement of People Workstream of the CLC BREXIT Working Group and comprises the second publication in a suite of business readiness advice that the group intends to publish ahead of 31 December 2020.

 FIS Chief Executive Iain McIlwee commented: “We have been supporting this vital group within the CLC and playing in our concerns that the cliff edge we face in January could leave us with a real labour shortage in the sector. We will continue to press this point, but we need to start preparing and time is already short.  This guidance from the CLC is, without doubt going to help smaller businesses to pick through what could be a really difficult and bureaucratic process and start communicating with overseas workers in their labour pool in ensuring they secure the right entitlement to work.”.

 How the Points Based System Works

 The table below explains how points will be allocated for anyone on the Skilled Visa route will work, including mandatory and tradeable points.

Characteristics Mandatory/Tradeable Points
Mandatory Requirement
Offer of job by approved sponsor Mandatory 20
Job at appropriate skill level (RFQ3+) Mandatory 20
Speaks English at required level Mandatory 10
Points for Salary
Salary of £20,480 to £23,039 or at least 80% of the going rate for the profession (whichever is higher) Tradeable 0
Salary of £23,040 to £25,599 or at least 90% of the going rate for the profession (whichever is higher) Tradeable 10
Salary of £25,600 or above or at least the going rate for the profession (whichever is higher) Tradeable 20
Additional points
Job in a shortage occupation as designated by the Migration Advisory Committee Tradeable 20
Education qualification: PhD in a subject relevant to the job Tradeable 10
Education qualification: PhD in a STEM subject relevant to the job Tradeable 20

 As it stands, no construction occupations are listed on the shortage occupation list, and many trades within the Finishes and Interiors Sector are not deemed to be at an RFQ3+ level making it very difficult to attract new labour from overseas.

 How to prepare as a business

 Hiring New People

 If you are planning to recruit from overseas from 1 January, you will need to obtain a sponsor licence, which can take up to eight weeks.  If you have workers from the EU or EEA who wish to continue living and working in the UK after 30 June 2021, you should advise them to apply for settled and pre‐settled status.

Managing your Existing Workforce

 FIS recommends contacting overseas workers to understand their intentions and pre-empt any problems.  This will also support you in communicating the importance of applying for settled or pre-settled status.  A set of potential questions is provided below to support this activity: 

Covid-19 Holiday Impact Questionnaire

  1. Are you a national from an EU member state?
  2. Are you a national from an non EU member state?
  3. Have you applied for settled status?
  4. Have you been granted settled status?
  5. Have you applied for pre-settled status?
  6. Have you been granted pre-settled status?
  7. For how long do you anticipate working in the UK?
  8. Are you returning home for the festive break?
  9. Which country are you returning to?
  10. Does this country have a quarantine policy in place when returning from the UK?
  11. Does the UK have a quarantine policy in place when returning from your destination?
  12. From the following list below, which weeks do you intend spending away from work, week number only please?

    Week 1   14-20 December | Week 2   21-27 December | Week 3   28 December – 3rd of January | Week 4   4 – 10 January | Week 5   11 – 17 January | Week 6   18– 24 January

Access the CLC Guidance on movement of labour is here.

FIS remains concerned about the points based system and impact on labour availability.  Government continues to take a very hard line on this with the Home Secretary ignoring advice from the MAC and rejecting any construction trades from being added to the shortage occupation list.  We would welcome your support in commpleting this survey.  

 If you are experiencing or expecting labour shortages, please email your concerns to