Employing migrant workers in Northern Ireland



A new immigration system applies to people arriving in the UK from 1 January 2021. EU citizens moving to the UK to work will need to get a visa in advance. Employers need a sponsor licence to hire most workers from outside the UK.

Please note: this requirement excludes Irish citizens and those who already have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme.

See right to work checks: employing EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens.

A migrant worker is a non-UK national who has migrated to Northern Ireland to either seek or take up employment. Migrant workers have the same protection from unlawful discrimination as UK nationals.

The law does not merely ensure protection from unlawful racial discrimination, but also protection from unlawful discrimination on all of the other statutory anti-discrimination grounds; such as sex, pregnancy and maternity, married and civil partnership status, religious and similar philosophical belief, political opinion, disability, sexual orientation, gender reassignment and age.

Employers should know how to support migrant workers. This includes understanding how to protect them from potential exploitation, discrimination, and harassment.

This guide looks at recruiting migrant workers and the advantages of employing migrant workers. It includes advice on how to support migrant workers in your business. It also highlights the range of local support available for employers and migrant workers.