Nathan Poole FCCA
Nathan Poole FCCA
A licence to hire posy Ikram Malik headshot

Migration has become a regular topic in the UK media with the focus on desperate people attempting illegal routes or the abuse of legitimate licences in the Health and Care sector.

A presentation at the most recent NASDAL meeting we attended brought a new perspective on this troubled topic. Ikram Malik, a Partner and Head of Immigration at the law firm Brabners, explained the opportunities to the meeting of specialist dental accountants and lawyers. He is well acquainted with the potential benefits after working over several years to assist employers who want to recruit appropriately trained staff from abroad, including dentists looking to employ dentists, dental hygienists and dental therapists.

Our response (as business advisors as well as chartered accountants) was to investigate further whether sponsorship of overseas professionals could help our clients. Mr Malik,  who only works in the field of immigration, outlined the benefits – see checklist below – and we believe that obtaining a sponsorship licence is worth considering.

His advice:

A dental practice should become an approved sponsor with the Home Office before advertising the role they want to fill. This way you open up the field for non-settled candidates to apply for job and can select the best prospective candidate regardless of their nationality. A sponsored worker may be self-employed where there is a genuine contract for employment or services between the sponsor and the worker. The individual will require a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from the sponsor.

As an approved sponsor licence holder, you must have appropriate monitoring systems in place, and must familiarise yourself with sponsor duties. A breach of sponsor duties may result in suspicion or revocation of your licence. It’s therefore imperative to seek specialist advice and appoint a representative for  your licence to ensure full compliance.

In Ikram’s view sponsorship of overseas workers is a cost-effective and positive solution, especially in areas of the UK where dental practices struggle to recruit.

  • Following the abolition of the Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT) a dental practice can recruit from anywhere in the world – the important criterion is that the candidate is suitably qualified

  • Dental practices are likely to experience in interest from non-settled workers – such as international students and recent graduates – seeking sponsorship and should experience a boost in job applications

  • There is a minimum income requirement which depends on the level at which the individual is being recruited. The minimum requirement of £38,700 doesn’t apply to the Health and Care sector.

  • The sponsored professional is able to bring their family with them, making it easier for them to settle into the community where the dental practice is located