Support for Farming Sector as the UK leaves the EU
4th January, 2021
Support for the farming sector was announced by the government days before free movement ended on 31 December 2020. The Seasonal Agriculture Pilot, originally launched in 2019, has been extended into 2021 with the annual quota being increased to 30,000 from 10,000.
The scheme allows overseas workers to work in the UK for 6 months as seasonal workers in the edible horticulture sector.
The decision to extend the scheme and increase the quota should assist in mitigating the seasonal labour shortages in the horticulture sector in the UK and to supplement the current domestic workforce, which has been heavily reliant on EU nationals being able to work in the UK exercising free movement.
Tom Bradshaw, the Vice President of the National Farmers Union said:
“This is welcome and positive news, not just for Britain’s growers but also for shoppers who want to enjoy home-grown fresh produce.
By expanding the Seasonal Workers Pilot, the Government is sending a clear message that it is important for Britain to be able to produce its own fruit and veg, which has huge potential for growth. This scheme will allow growers to employ seasonal workers at key times to pick a wide variety of fresh produce on British farms.”
Employing workers from overseas
You will need to become an approved sponsor by applying to the Home Office before you can employ overseas workers in the edible horticulture sector.
It can take up to 8 weeks for your application for a sponsor licence to be processed by the Home Office.
If you would like further advice on how to become an approved sponsor to employ overseas workers, please contact Ikram Malik.
Business Immigration Partner
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