New Temporary Work visas for HGV Drivers and poultry workers


30 September 2021

Temporary relaxation to the Immigration Rules have been made to enable the recruitment of poultry workers and HGV drivers.

DEFRA announces temporary relaxation to the Immigration Rules for poultry workers

On Sunday 26 September, the Government announced that an additional 5,500 Temporary Worker visas will be made available for poultry workers.

Department for Transport announces temporary relaxation to the Immigration Rules for HGV drivers

On Sunday 26 September, the Government announced that an additional 5,000 Temporary Worker visas will be made available for HGV drivers enabling them to travel to the UK to transport food and fuel in the run-up to Christmas. 

Recruitment for the above roles is expected to commence in October and the new visa category will be valid until 24 December 2021. There are concerns however that this is too little too late and that 5,000 visas is not enough to plug the gap of an estimated 90,000 driver vacancies.

Further announcements regarding how applications can be made and availability of priority visa processing are expected in due course.

Despite this concession from the Government, concerns remain that the short term nature of the visas reduces this as an attractive proposition for workers. There is scepticism regarding the ability to roll out the visa scheme and recruit and process the applications in time to have a discernible impact on the supply chain ahead of Christmas. Applications will be open to all nationalities although the majority of HGV drivers are expected to come from the EU.

This article is from the September 2021 issue of Employment and Immigration Law Update, our monthly newsletter for HR professionals. To download the latest issue, please visit the newsletter section of our website. For further information please contact a member of Birketts' Immigration Team.

The content of this article is for general information only. It is not, and should not be taken as, legal advice. If you require any further information in relation to this article please contact the author in the first instance. Law covered as at September 2021.

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