Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer, NHS funding, COVID-19, budget, immigration health surcharge, GP surgery appointments, health infrastructure plan

Budget 2020 – how will it affect overseas workers looking for jobs in the UK?

By Luke Aldred

​Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, delivered his first budget on Wednesday 11 March. It covered a range of issues including infrastructure, putting more money in the public’s pocket, green priorities, supporting those in need and of course COVID-19. It set out a three-point plan designed to support the country through the coronavirus outbreak, assisting people unable to work, protecting jobs and businesses, and providing money for public services.

If you’re overseas and looking for work in the UK health or social care sectors, you may be a little confused about how the new budget will affect you. Here are some key points we think will be most relevant and helpful to you:

Hike to immigration health surcharge

Sunak announced that the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS), which is paid annually by migrants living in Britain, will increase by £224. The IHS is required by EU and non-EU citizens.

Statutory sick pay will be available to individuals self-isolating

The budget outlined the financial support that will be available to those affected by coronavirus. Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) will now be offered to people diagnosed with COVID-19, or those unable to work because they’re self-isolating in line with government advice. This goes hand-in-hand with the change announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on 4 March that SSP will be payable from day one, instead of day four for affected individuals. Sick notes will be available by contacting NHS 111.

Government to increase NHS funding by £6 billion

Sunak pledged more than £6 billion of new funding to support the NHS, including:

  • Creating 50 million more GP surgery appointments

  • Ensuring there are 50,000 more nurses

  • Funding wider commitments on hospital car parking and support for people with learning disabilities and autism

Investment on new hospital projects

Over £100 million in 2020-21 will be invested to make progress on the 40 new hospital projects announced as part of the Health Infrastructure Plan. This should ensure the NHS has world-class facilities for patients and staff for the long-term.

Extended 4G coverage

When you come to work in the UK, you’ll need to be able to communicate easily with your loved ones back home. Sunak announced that the government will spend over £500 million to extend 4G mobile coverage – which is 10 times faster than 3G – to 95% of the UK, which means quicker Internet access and video calling.

If you’re an overseas worker looking for a new health or social care job in the UK, and you have specific questions on the points mentioned above, get in touch with our International team.