Advertising requirements

Departments and colleges are only required to meet the Home Office's advertising requirements (called the Resident Labour Market Test) when requesting an in-country Tier 2 Certificate of Sponsorship for one of following categories of migrant:

  • those currently on a Tier 2 or old-style work visa sponsored by another organisation;
  • those currently on a Tier 2 or old-style work visa sponsored by the University but who will be changing jobs within the University to a different type of role (e.g. a researcher taking up a new post as a University Lecturer)

Before applying to the Staff Immigration Team for a Tier 2 Certificate of Sponsorship, departments and colleges must ensure that they have met the Home Office's advertising requirements (called the Resident Labour Market Test).

University teaching and/or research posts must have been advertised within the twelve months before the date of issue of a Certificate of Sponsorship, counted from the date adverts were first posted.

All other posts (e.g. administrative and IT posts) must have been advertised within the six months before the date of issue of a Certificate of Sponsorship, counted from the date adverts were first posted.

Departments and colleges who require a Certificate of Sponsorship for a researcher named on a grant award do not need to show that they have advertised the post according to Home Office requirements, but instead must provide a copy of the grant application and award letter naming the applicant and confirming their salary, start date and period of funding. Where the grant covers other funding in addition to the applicant's salary a full breakdown of the funding should be provided clearly showing the salary figures.

Departments and colleges should also note that there is no requirement to meet the Home Office's advertising requirements where the post has an annual salary of £159,600 or more.

Length of time adverts need to appear.

Adverts used to support a Tier 2 Certificate of Sponsorship application must be placed for a minimum of 28 calendar days. The four weeks do not need to be consecutive. For example, adverts may be placed for two weeks in the first instance, and if no suitable resident workers are found, the same advert must be placed for a further two weeks before a Tier 2 Certificate of Sponsorship can be issued. However, each period of advertising must be at least 7 calendar days.

Where adverts need to be placed.

University research and/or teaching posts, and any post with an annual salary of £73,900 or more, must be advertised in TWO locations which both meet the Home Office's Criteria for suitable media, as a minimum. Please note that the two locations do not need to be two different types of media and can be, for example, two different websites. Suitable locations include the University’s main vacancies web page and the Jobs.ac.uk website.  There is no requirement to advertise these posts on Universal Jobmatch (previously called JobCentre Plus).

All other posts (e.g. administrative and IT posts) must be advertised on both (i) Universal Jobmatch (JobCentre Plus) and (ii) either the University’s main vacancies web page, or one other place which meets the Home Office's Criteria for suitable media, as a minimum.

Please see the guidance on Advertising on JobCentre Plus (76kb) , which includes details of the services provided by the TMP Worldwide (formerly Tribal Advertising Agency).

Colleges can advertise academic (Research and Lecturer) roles on the University's Academic vacancies website and can therefore rely on these adverts as one of the two suitable locations. As colleges are unable to place adverts for other roles on the University website, however, they should ensure that they refer to the Home Office's Criteria for suitable media in order to determine acceptable places to advertise alongside the required Universal Jobmatch advert.

Type of MediumCriteria for suitable media
Newspaper

Must be:

  • marketed throughout the UK or through the whole of the devolved nation in which the job is located, and
  • published at least once a week
Professional journal  Must be:
  • available nationally through retail outlets or through subscription,
  • published at least once a month, and
  • related to the nature of the job i.e. a relevant trade journal, official journal of a professional occupational body, or subject-specific publication
Website  Must be one of the following:
  • an online version of a newspaper or professional journal which would satisfy the criteria above,
  • the website of a prominent professional or recruitment organisation, which does not charge a fee to jobseekers to view job advertisements or to apply for jobs via those advertisements, or
  • if the Sponsor is a multinational organisation or has over 250 permanent employees in the UK, the Sponsor's own website

Departments and colleges must also check the relevant Code of Practice in Appendix J of the Immigration Rules to ensure that the salary meets the 'New Entrant' or 'Experienced Worker' threshold specific to the job type, as well as the 'New Entrant' (£20,800 per annum) or 'Experienced Worker' (£30,000 per annum) Tier 2 minimum salary threshold, as appropriate.

The Home Office defines ‘New Entrant’ applicants as being:

  • graduates switching from Tier 1 (Post-study Work), Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur), or Tier 4 into Tier 2 under the post-study provisions; and
  • anyone aged 25 or under on the date of their Tier 2 visa application.

(However, in all cases, applicants will not be classed as new entrant employees if they are applying to extend their total stay in Tier 2 and/or as a work permit holder beyond 3 years and 1 month.)

‘Experienced Workers’ are defined as:

  • anyone not switching into Tier 2 under the post-study provisions and aged 26 or over on the date of their Tier 2 visa application;
  • anyone wishing to extend their total stay in Tier 2 and/or as a work permit holder beyond 3 years and 1 month;
  • anyone where a Certificate of Sponsorship is being issued for longer than 3 years

For example, the Code of Practice for University Lecturers (SOC 2311) gives a salary threshold for this type of post as £25,700 per annum for a 'New Entrant' and £32,300 per annum for an 'Experienced Worker'. The Tier 2 minimum salary threshold, which an applicant must also meet to obtain enough points to apply for a Tier 2 visa, is £20,800 per annum for a 'New Entrant' and £30,000 per annum for an 'Experienced Worker'. Therefore, in order to obtain a Certificate of Sponsorship for a Lecturer post, the salary must be at least £25,700 if the applicant would be considered to be a 'New Entrant' or £32,300 if the applicant would be considered to be an 'Experienced Worker'.

Content of adverts.

All advertisements used to support a Tier 2 Certificate of Sponsorship application must include the following details:

  • job title; e.g. Postdoctoral Research Assistant
  • main duties and responsibilities of the job; e.g. to design and synthesise probes of enzymes and study the kinetics of enzymes, analyse data, publish results
  • location(s) of the job; e.g. Chemistry Research Laboratory, Oxford
  • salary package or range; e.g. £31,076 - £38,183 per annum, (please note that the salary range quoted must include the salary actually paid)See further information about how to quote salary in adverts below.
  • qualification(s) required; e.g. PhD in Chemical Biology or Bachelor/Master's degree and close to completion of a PhD
  • skills and experience needed; e.g. thorough working knowledge of organic synthesis, good publication record
  • the closing date for applications; e.g. 30 July 2016

It is recommended that advertisements also contain a direct web link to the further particulars for the post.

Departments and colleges should note that a certificate cannot be issued unless all advertisements used to support the Tier 2 Certificate of Sponsorship application contain the above information.

A certificate cannot be issued where the advertisement quotes a specific start date for the post and the department or college then wants the applicant to start before, or significantly after, the advertised start date. Therefore, departments and colleges are advised to consider very carefully whether to quote a specific start date.

Departments and colleges should note that proof of qualification must be copied and retained. The following are acceptable evidence of qualification:

  • The original qualification certificate of award
  • A letter from the awarding institution confirming the qualification was awarded
  • An official transcript from the awarding institution confirming the qualification was awarded
  • Confirmation of award from an official qualification checking service (e.g. National Student Clearinghouse in the USA)

The way in which qualifications are quoted in job adverts which may attract individuals who would require a Tier 2 visa should be carefully considered. Where an advert specifies that a PhD is required (and gives no provision for those who are close to completion or have relevant experience), a Tier 2 CoS cannot be issued unless the individual has actually been awarded a doctorate. Unless there are specific reasons why it is not possible, it is better to quote 'PhD or close to completion' or 'PhD or relevant experience'.

Please note, however, that where a qualification ‘or relevant/equivalent experience’ is specified and the applicant is relying on their experience, copies of references will need to be submitted with the CoS application in lieu of a qualification certificate. These references must clearly state that the applicant has the experience required to undertake the role in question and that their experience is equivalent to the qualification stated.

Departments and colleges should also note that a certificate cannot be issued where the applicant is to be paid a salary outside the advertised salary range. Therefore, departments and colleges should carefully consider the following guidance on quoting salary in advertisements.

Guidance on how to quote salary in advertisements

Departments and colleges must quote salary in one of the following ways (which cannot be used in combination):

1.       Quote the whole salary range, consider whether it is necessary to include the discretionary range depending on post type and market rates

2.       Quote “from” and state the bottom of the range. Go to the Senior Appointments Panel when the actual salary is agreed and if the agreed salary is above the top of the range

3.       Quote “Competitive Salary” but only where Division/SAP have given approval before the advertisement is placed.

Please note that the use of “competitive salary” is expected to be rare. The use of “competitive salary” may only be used where all of the following conditions are met:

•             For University roles and joint appointments, a case has been approved by Division and the Senior Appointments Panel prior to advertising the role that the post in question can be paid above the pay scale. Please discuss with the relevant Divisional office at the planning stage.

•             The market rate for the post is demonstrably above the University’s salary scale and where advertising a “competitive salary” would be considered the norm for the post.

•             The advertisement quotes “competitive salary”. Note that other terminology such as “market rate” and “salary negotiable” is not accepted by the Home Office.

•             All other requirements of the Home Office’s resident labour market test as noted on this web page have been met.

 

Please note that if the above conditions are not met the post will need to be re-advertised quoting a salary range. Please contact the Staff Immigration Team before advertisements are placed if you are considering using the term “competitive salary”.

Record-keeping requirements.

Where internet advertising is used, a printout of the advertisement as it appears on the website must be made on the first day that the advert appears. The printout must show the following:

  • name and logo of the host website
  • content of the advert
  • date of printing
  • URL (web address)

Where print media are used, the original page containing the advert must be sent to the Staff Immigration Team (a photocopy is not acceptable) with the Certificate of Sponsorship application.

For Universal Jobmatch (previously JobCentre Plus) online adverts, a printout of the advertisement as it appears on the website must be made on the first day that the advert appears. The printout must be taken from the Universal Jobmatch website through which applicants apply (rather than from the BusinessLink website through which the adverts are posted) and must show the following:

  • name and logo of the relevant government website hosting the advert *
  • content of the advert
  • vacancy reference number (for Universal Jobmatch vacancies this is the 'Job ID number')
  • date of printing
  • URL (web address)

* The following are accepted as relevant government websites for jobs advertised using Universal Jobmatch:

  • GOV.UK
  • Direct Gov
  • JobCentre Plus (only for jobs advertised before 19 November 2012)