WHAT CAN BE INCLUDED IN THE SKILLED WORKER MINIMUM SALARY
On 1/12/2020 the Skilled Worker visa replaced the Tier 2 General visa regime. The rules on what can be included in the minimum salary for Skilled Worker visa are different to what could be counted towards minimum pay for the Tier 2 General visa.
To start with, the minimum pay for Skilled Worker has to be the highest of the following: £25,600, £10.10 per hour, or the Soc Code minimum. There are few exceptions when lower salary can be paid. We explain this in more detail here. We also prepared a calculator to help sponsor employers and applicants to assess the government fees for Skilled Worker visa.
WHAT CAN BE INCLUDED IN MINIMUM SALARY FOR SKILLED WORKER
Only guaranteed basic gross pay can be included in the minimum salary for Skilled Worker visa. No other pay and benefits must be counted when assessing Skilled Worker's minimum salary. Examples of pay and benefits which are not included are listed in immigration rules, paragraph SW 14.2 (this is not an exhaustive list).
Paragraph SW 14.2 states that salary does not include other pay and benefits, such as any of the following:
(a) pay which cannot be guaranteed because the nature of the job means that hours fluctuate; or
(b) additional pay such as shift, overtime or bonus pay, (whether or not it is guaranteed); or
(c) employer pension and employer national insurance contributions; or
(d) any allowances, such as accommodation or cost of living allowances; or
(e) in-kind benefits, such as equity shares, health insurance, school or university fees, company cars or food; or
(f) one-off payments, such as 'golden hellos'; or
(g) any payments relating to immigration costs, such as the fee or Immigration Health Charge; or
(h) payments to cover business expenses, including (but not limited to) travel to and from the applicant's country of residence, equipment, clothing, travel or subsistence.
EXCEPTIONS WHEN ALLOWANCES CAN BE INCLUDED IN MINIMUM PAY
In the Skilled Worker visa rule paragraph 14.5 there are transitional arrangements for Tier 2 (General) migrants who apply for permission to stay (extension of their visa) or Settlement (Indefinite Leave to Remain – ILR). Their salaries for visa extension or ILR can continue to include allowances, providing all the below listed conditions are met:
- they are applying to extend with the same sponsor
- the date of application is before 1 December 2026
- the allowances are guaranteed
- the allowances will be paid for the duration of the applicant's permission (one off bonuses are not included and cannot be pro-rated)
- the allowances would be paid to a local settled worker in similar circumstances (such as London weighting)
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.