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What does a points-based immigration system mean for your shop?

The NHBF ( is a membership organisation that supports the hair and beauty industry with business resources and advice. Here’s their summary on the future plan for workers from outside the UK unless they have been granted indefinite leave to remain. Anyone wanting to live and work in the UK from 1 January 2021 will need a minimum of 70 points to qualify for a visa. The same points-based system will work in the same way for people coming in from EU or non-EU countries. The new system assumes that pay lower than the stated threshold means that the applicant is low on skill!

There are three mandatory criteria for earning points:

  1. A job offer with a ‘sponsoring’ company – 20 points
  2. Job at appropriate skill level – 20 points
  3. Ability to speak English at the required level – 10 points

Once the mandatory criteria have been met, other criteria allow applicants to top up points including:

  1. Minimum salary of £20,480 but to earn points the salary must be £23,040 to £25,599 (10 points) or more than £25,600 (20 points).
  2. Job on the government’s jobs shortage list – 20 points.  The list currently includes nursing, civil engineering, psychology and classical ballet dancing among others. It does NOT include hair professionals.
  3. A doctorate level degree (PhD) in a subject relevant to the job (10 points) or in a science, technology, engineering or maths subject (20 points).

Hilary Hall, NHBF chief executive said, “The government has set criteria which link low pay to low skills. We know that people working in hair and beauty often earn minimum wages, but that certainly does not mean they are low-skilled.  But under the new system it’s unlikely that many industry applicants will meet the points-based system criteria. Barbershops looking to fill vacancies from overseas should make those appointments before 31 December 2020 as the new criteria will make it much harder to recruit foreign workers, whether they are EU or non-EU citizens.”