Changes in Skilled Worker role

As Skilled Worker sponsorship is based on the specific role the visa holder is undertaking, any changes in that role must be reported to the Home Office by the Staff Immigration Team (SIT).

The employing department/ faculty/ college should discuss any proposed changes in a Skilled Worker visa holder's role with the SIT to check that they are permitted. If the changes are permitted under the current Skilled Worker visa, the employing department/ faculty/ college must submit a Changes & Leavers form to SIT with the relevant details and a copy of the new job description, if applicable, so that they can report the changes to the Home Office.

 

Changes must be reported to SIT within 5 working days

The employing department/ faculty/ college must submit a Changes & Leavers form to the Staff Immigration Team (SIT) within 5 working days after the changes take effect. This allows time to clarify any issues and for SIT to then report the changes to the Home Office within the deadline 10 working days after the changes take effect.

 

 

The Changes & Leavers form is laid out in sections corresponding to the different changes which must be reported, which are:

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Change in start date

If a change in start date is proposed after a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) has been issued but before the Skilled Worker visa application has been submitted, this should be discussed with SIT. If the change in start date is unavoidable, SIT can add a 'sponsor note' to the CoS listing the amended start date, and re-issue the CoS details to the applicant before they submit the visa application.

Late arrival

If it becomes clear that an applicant's arrival will be delayed, whether due to delays in their visa application, travel, or personal circumstances, this should be urgently discussed with SIT. If the visa application has already been submitted, it will not be possible to amend the start date on the CoS and a late start will have to be reported to the Home Office.

Please see SIT guidance on Arriving in the UK for more information.

 

A Skilled Worker start date cannot be delayed more than 4 weeks

If a Skilled Worker visa holder arrives more than 4 weeks late, their sponsorship would have to be withdrawn which would result in their visa being cancelled. The 4 weeks are counted from either the Skilled Worker CoS start date or the date the Skilled Worker visa is issued, whichever is later.

If there are any concerns about meeting a start date, please contact the Staff Immigration Team (SIT) as early as possible.

 

 

Skilled Worker sponsorship is specific to the role being undertaken and the job code which it falls under. As a result, changes to any of the details below must be reported to the Home Office.

The employing department/ faculty/ college must submit a Changes & Leavers form to SIT reporting any changes in the details below within 5 working days after they take effect, but these types of changes should normally also have be discussed in advance.

  • Job title

This could be as a result of a promotion, additional responsibilities, or the award of a fellowship or other title, for example.

  • Duties

Proposed changes in duties should always be discussed with SIT as early as possible. SIT will review the proposed changes and amended or new job description to check that the nature of the role has not changed and it still fits under the same job code. If a Skiller Worker visa holder in a research role wishes to undertake teaching this will have to be reported to SIT who must report this to the Home Office as an additional duty before any teaching can commence.

  • Salary and/ or allowances

One-off payments, overtime, and changes due to annual increments and national pay awards do not need to be reported. All other changes in salary or allowances, including increases in salary due to retention, market pay, additional duties, and reward and recognition awards must be reported.

Decreases in salary are only permitted if the proposed new salary still meets the Skilled Worker salary thresholds. Reductions in salary below the thresholds are, however, permitted where this is due to maternity, paternity, shared parental, adoption,sick leave, humanitarian crisis or industrial action (see below);

 

Marie Skłodowska Curie Fellows and Early Stage Researchers

If a Skilled Worker visa holder is a Marie Skłodowska Curie Fellow or Early Stage Researcher, their funding covers the employer's contributions to their pension. If they chose to opt out of the pension, the funds which would have covered the employer's contributions revert to them as part of their salary and this increase in salary must be reported to the Home Office.

The employing department/ faculty/ college must inform the Staff Immigration Team (SIT) and check the salary calculations with them before submitting a Changes & Leavers form to report the change in salary.

 
  • Hours of work

Occasional overtime or additional hours do not need to be reported, but if there is a pattern of longer working this could be seen as a change in hours and should be discussed with SIT.

As any reduction in hours would normally be accompanied by a reduction in salary, this should be discussed with SIT as early as possible so that they can check the proposed new working hours still meets the Skilled Worker salary thresholds.

  • Work location

Any change in regular work location, or additional regular work locations, in the UK must be reported to the Home Office. One-off or occasional short periods of work in other locations do not need to be reported.

Work locations outside the UK do not need to be reported, but if an employee is based outside the UK there may be other personnel, finance (particularly tax), and visa issues to consider. Any proposed working outside the UK should be discussed with SIT, and the personnel and finance teams in the employing department/ faculty/ college as early as possible.

Unauthorised absence

If a Skilled Worker visa holder were to take an unauthorised absence of 10 consecutive working days or more, this would have to be reported to the Home Office and would result in their visa being cancelled by the Home Office. SIT guidance on the end of sponsorship explains what happens when a visa is curtailed/ cancelled.

An unauthorised absence would occur when a sponsored visa holder fails to attend when attendance is expected and they have not communicated their absence to their department or college. For example: a failure to deliver a timetabled lecture or tutorial, an unexplained absence from a conference or a committee meeting, an unexplained absence from work when attendance would normally be expected.

If an unauthorised absence appears to have occurred, the department/ faculty/ college should contact the visa holder immediately to check whether the absence is actually due to normal work activity, illness or holiday. If an unauthorised absence of 10 consecutive working days or more occurs, the department/ faculty/ college must be submit a Changes & Leavers form to the Staff Immigration Team (SIT) reporting this within 5 working days after the tenth day of absence.

If an unauthorised absence of 10 consecutive days occurs but normal working is subsequently resumed, this must still be reported to SIT using the Changes & Leavers form.

Authorised unpaid leave

All authorised unpaid leave must be reported to SIT who in turn must report this to the Home Office. The employing department/ faculty/ college must submit a Changes & Leavers form to SIT reporting any unpaid leave within 5 working days after it takes effect, but preferably earlier.

Skilled Worker visa holders can only take up to 4 weeks authorised unpaid leave in any calendar year (January to December), whether in one or over multiple periods. If authorised unpaid leave of 4 weeks or more is taken, the Skilled Worker visa would be cancelled by the Home Office.

SIT guidance on the end of sponsorship explains what happens when a Skilled Worker visa is curtailed/ cancelled.

 

Unpaid leave should be a last resort

As the limit on authorised unpaid leave is very strict, it is best to use annual leave and any other paid leave entitlements before resorting to unpaid leave, and any proposed unpaid leave should always be discussed with SIT in advance.

 

Changes in salary due to leave

Reductions in salary below the Skilled Worker salary thresholds and unpaid leave of longer than 4 weeks are only permitted in cases of

  • Maternity leave
  • Paternity leave
  • Shared-parental leave
  • Adoption leave
  • Sick leave
  • authorised absence to assist with a national or international humanitatian or environmental crisis overseas
  • taking part in strike action as part of a legally organised industrial action

In these cases, the proposed reduction in salary, statutory payments, and any unpaid leave should be discussed with SIT in advance as they must be reported to the Home Office. The employing department/ faculty/ college must submit a Changes & Leavers form to SIT reporting the changes within 5 working days after they take effect. If plans subsequently change, a new Changes & Leavers form should be submitted to SIT reporting the new details, so that an updated report can be submitted to the Home Office.

Information on leave entitlements can be found in University HR guidance, but any queries should be directed to the employing department/ faculty/ college.

 

As well as changes during sponsorship, changes around the end of sponsorship must also be reported to the Home Office. The employing department/ faculty/ college must submit a Changes & Leavers form to SIT reporting any of the following changes within 5 working days after they take effect.

Changes in immigration status

If a Skilled Worker visa holder changes immigration status and no longer requires sponsorship, this must be reported to the Home Office, even though the Home Office in many cases will have granted this new immigration status. Examples of a change in immigration status include where a visa holder has applied for and obtained

The employing department/ faculty/ college must submit a Changes & Leavers form to SIT within 5 working days after they are made aware of the new immigration status, reporting the change in immigration status and providing a right to work copy of the new visa, ILR, or passport.

Left Early

If a Skilled Worker visa holder resigns, is made redundant, or their employment is otherwise discontinued, a Changes & Leavers form must be submitted to SIT by the employing department/ faculty/ college within 5 working days after the last day of employment, so that their early departure can be reported to the Home Office.

SIT guidance on the end of sponsorship explains what happens when a Skilled Worker visa is curtailed/ cancelled.

Left as expected

When a Skilled Worker visa holder leaves at the end of their visa as expected, this still needs to be reported to SIT by the employing department/ faculty/ college in a Changes & Leavers form, so that their SIT file can be updated and closed.

Contact us


Medical Sciences / Humanities / GLAM / UAS / Continuing Education / Colleges

Angelina Pelova Tel: 01865 289904 Email: angelina.pelova@admin.ox.ac.uk 

James Galloway Tel: 01865 289927 Email: james.galloway@admin.ox.ac.uk

 

MPLS / Social Sciences

Rose Boadu Tel: 01865 289921 Email: rosemond.boadu@admin.ox.ac.uk

Solveig Alsaker Tel: 01865 289912 Email: solveig.alsaker@admin.ox.ac.uk

 

 

 

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