In February of this year, the Home Office introduced a modification to the regulations governing supplementary employment for individuals holding a Health and Care Worker visa in the UK.

This change temporarily eliminated the 20-hour limit on supplementary employment for Health and Care Worker visa holders, allowing them to engage in a second job for an unrestricted number of hours without needing to update their visa. The condition was that the additional job also fell within the criteria of the Health and Care Worker visa.

The primary goal of this adjustment was to address workforce shortages in the healthcare sector by permitting qualified healthcare professionals to take on additional work without constraints on working hours. However, this exemption has since been revoked, and the 20-hour cap on supplementary employment has been reinstated.

Health and Care Workers and their employers must be aware of the current regulations governing supplementary employment under this visa category. If you are currently employed in a second job or are considering doing so, it may be necessary to update your visa status.

Engaging in Extra Work on a Health and Care Worker Visa:

  • On a Health and Care Worker visa, you are allowed to undertake additional paid employment as long as you continue your sponsored job. Voluntary unpaid work is also permitted.
  • The need to update your visa depends on the nature of the work and the number of hours involved.
  • You can work up to 20 hours per week in another job without visa updates if it meets one of the following criteria:
    • The job is in the same occupation code and at the same level as your primary job.
    • The job is in a shortage occupation.
  • You must update your visa if:
    • Your additional job exceeds 20 hours per week.
    • Your additional job is not in a shortage occupation and falls into one of these categories:
      • It is in a different occupation code than your primary job.
      • It is in the same occupation code as your primary job but at a different level.
  • To update your visa, you will need a new Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from your second employer and a letter explaining the reason for changing your permission to stay.

Impact on Employers and Healthcare Workers:

  • The temporary removal of the 20-hour cap allowed healthcare professionals to work unlimited extra hours, gain more experience, and earn additional income without breaching visa conditions. The reintroduction of restrictions means some workers may experience reduced working hours and income if their second job does not meet the specified criteria.
  • Employers offering supplementary employment to Health and Care Workers will lose flexibility, and they may need to sponsor the worker if a visa update is required.

As the adult social care sector faces ongoing staff shortages and increased reliance on international recruitment, the Home Office may consider introducing additional provisions to support businesses in accessing overseas skills. However, for now, employers must adhere to existing regulations and ensure that all employees have the necessary work authorization in the UK. With substantial penalties in place for businesses employing unauthorized workers, compliance with right-to-work checks is more crucial than ever.

Sponsoring Health and Care Workers:

  • If your organization is interested in recruiting healthcare professionals from abroad, Smith Stone Walters offers comprehensive assistance.
  • Our team of immigration experts can guide your business through sponsorship and compliance matters. Contact us today to learn more about our services.



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