The government has updated its seasonal worker scheme guidance which includes a provision to allow returnee workers from 2022 to come back sooner in 2023.
Workers can come back to the UK after five months, rather than waiting the full six months from the end of their 2022 visa. NFU Deputy President Tom Bradshaw explained how the NFU has been “pushing for a visa rest in recognition of the impacts to recruitment that the Ukraine conflict had last season”.
“While this is only a modest change, it is an important one that will help growers this season and add further weight to our discussions over the length of visas within the scheme,” he said.
This update is a further improvement to the scheme, following NFU lobbying which secured a sizeable increase in the number of visas, and the reverting of the inflated SWS wage.
Members are encouraged to speak to their labour provider as soon as possible to ensure their returnees can take advantage of this important update.
At the end of February at the NFU Conference, Farming Minister Mark Spencer announced the removal of the seasonal worker scheme wage meaning that workers’ pay will revert to the NLW (National Living Wage).
Mr Spencer referred to the government’s recent confirmation that 45,000 visas would be made available for growers this year “with the possibility of 10,000 more, if we can show they’re needed”.