Can Skilled Workers Take On Additional Work In 2024?

skilled worker additional work

Can You Take On Additional Work As A Skilled Worker: Insights and Guidance

The conditions of a Skilled Worker Visa can be very intricate, especially when it comes to understanding the limitations and allowances related to additional work. It’s crucial for visa holders to grasp the specific criteria that govern their ability to engage in work beyond their primary sponsored role. Failure to comply with these conditions can lead to significant implications, including the potential curtailment of the visa and adverse effects on future visa applications.


Understanding Skilled Worker Visas

A Skilled Worker Visa permits individuals to live and work in the UK in a specific job with a designated employer. This type of visa is subject to various conditions, including not only the ability to work, study, and travel in the UK but also to undertake additional work under certain circumstances. It’s essential to note that the primary employment must be with the sponsor in the role for which the visa was granted. However, the UK Home Office provides for ‘supplementary employment’ or ‘secondary employment’ under restricted scenarios.

Conditions for Additional Work

Supplementary Employment is permissible without needing to notify the Home Office if it aligns with the following criteria:

  • The job is listed in the Appendix Shortage Occupation List or falls within the same occupation code as the sponsored role.
  • The work does not exceed 20 hours a week and occurs outside the sponsored job’s working hours.

This flexibility allows skilled workers to explore additional work opportunities, provided they continue to meet their primary job’s obligations.

Types of Permissible Additional Work

For those looking to engage in Secondary Employment that exceeds 20 hours a week or is outside their primary job’s occupation code, an application for a variation of permission is necessary. This process involves obtaining a new Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) for the second job and meeting the Skilled Worker route’s eligibility requirements. It’s a more complex route that requires balancing the commitments to two different sponsors while adhering to visa conditions.


Employment Type Conditions Application Requirement
Supplementary Employment Within same occupation code, up to 20 hours a week, outside CoS hours No notification to Home Office required
Secondary Employment More than 20 hours, different occupation code Application for variation of permission

Understanding these distinctions is vital for maintaining compliance with visa conditions and ensuring that any additional employment does not jeopardise an individuals immigration status.


Recent updates to the Skilled Worker Visa regulations have introduced significant changes, especially concerning additional work allowances for those holding or eligible for the Health and Care Worker visa

Previous Exceptions for Health and Care Worker Visa Holders

In the past, skilled workers sponsored under occupation codes eligible for the Health and Care Worker visa were granted the flexibility to undertake unlimited additional work in roles that would qualify for the Health and Care Worker visa. This was a temporary concession aimed at addressing specific understaffed workforce needs within the UK’s health and care sectors. However, it’s crucial to note that this grant was applicable only to additional work undertaken before the cut-off date of 27 August 2023, as after this ate the policy was revoked.

Overtime Work for Sponsored Roles

Skilled workers are not restricted from working overtime in their sponsored roles. There’s no cap on the number of overtime hours, and such work does not require notification to the Home Office, provided it complies with the sponsorship requirements, including appropriate remuneration for overtime work.


Engaging in Voluntary Work As A Skilled Worker

Skilled Worker visa holders are allowed to engage in voluntary work in their free time without a cap on the amount of hours. This arrangement offers a way or them to contribute to the community or pursue personal interests without affecting visa status, as long as the voluntary work does not interfere with the primary sponsored employment. While reimbursement for expenses incurred during voluntary activities is permissible, receiving any form of payment beyond this is not allowed as individuals must maintain the voluntary nature of such work.


Sanctions For Non-Compliance

Non-compliance with the conditions of your Skilled Worker Visa concerning additional work can have serious repercussions. If found in breach of these conditions, you might face a curtailment of your visa, effectively shortening your stay and impacting your future visa applications negatively. Such breaches are recorded in your immigration history, potentially affecting your credibility and trustworthiness in the eyes of the UK Home Office.

When considering additional work, it’s crucial to ensure that any potential employment aligns with the conditions set forth by the Home Office. For supplementary employment, this means the role must be either on the Shortage Occupation List or within the same occupation code as your primary role, not exceeding 20 hours a week, and conducted outside your main job’s working hours.

For those considering secondary employment, remember that this necessitates a formal application process to vary your permission to stay. This involves securing a new Certificate of Sponsorship for the second job and ensuring that both your primary and secondary roles meet the eligibility criteria for a Skilled Worker Visa.


Case Studies/Examples

Example 1: A software developer working for a tech firm under a standard occupation code wishes to take on a part-time teaching position in the same field at a local college. Since the teaching role is within the same occupation code, is part-time up to 20 hours a week, and outside the developer’s normal working hours, this qualifies as supplementary employment and is permissible under the visa conditions.

Example 2: An engineer wishes to explore a new opportunity in a different field that requires more than 20 hours a week. This scenario would require applying for secondary employment, including obtaining a new CoS and ensuring that the new role meets the Skilled Worker eligibility criteria.


Scenario Compliance Action Required
Additional work within the same code and under 20 hours Compliant No notification to the Home Office required
Additional work in a different field or over 20 hours Requires compliance Application for a variation of permission



Understanding the intricacies of additional work permissions on a Skilled Worker Visa is essential for maintaining compliance and leveraging the opportunities available within the UK’s immigration system. Whether it’s supplementary or secondary employment, ensuring that all conditions are met not only secures your current visa status but also safeguards your future immigration applications. 

For further assistance with your Skilled Worker Visa or inquiries about additional work permissions, don’t hesitate to contact our immigration solicitors at Primus Solicitors. As expertise in immigration law means we can guide you through this process ensuring that your career aspirations align with your immigration compliance. 


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