Manufacturing businesses are urged to explore two new dedicated work permit routes that allow employees of overseas businesses to work in the UK.

The two routes will allow employees and contractors from overseas companies to work in the UK to help UK manufacturers deliver contract requirements, says global immigration law firm Fragomen LLP.

Thomas Mayhew, a senior associate at Fragomen LLP explains.

“The Government has introduced two new routes that will allow employees of overseas businesses that have no connection to the UK to work in the country pursuant to a contract between a UK company and overseas business, helping UK manufacturers to deliver major projects and contracts.

“The first, the Global Mobility Service Supplier route, opens the door for UK manufacturers to bring into the UK workers from international businesses to help fulfil contract requirements for services covered by an international trade agreement, such as the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement. Helpfully, this route does not require the employee to have any current employment relationship with the UK company. Its definition of contract requirements is suitably broad and is likely to apply to a wide range of roles. UK manufacturers benefit from a streamlined contract registration and sponsorship process under the revamped Global Mobility route.

“The second route, the Global Mobility Secondment Worker route, is a little more restrictive but allows a UK manufacturer to sponsor an individual to come to the UK to help deliver high-value contracts, which the Government defines as valued over £50m. However, there is no requirement for the services to be covered by a trade agreement under this route. Again, this route will allow overseas individuals to work in the UK even if they have no connection to the UK employer.

“Both routes will help solve the problem many manufacturers face with the current sponsorship licence arrangements that require overseas workers to have an employment relationship with the UK company. In both routes, employees of unconnected businesses will be able to work in the UK.”