Top Three Tips When Conducting A Resident Labour Market Test

Understanding the Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT) is a must for HR directors and employers who recruit talent from outside the EEA.  By instructing an experienced Immigration solicitor, your organisation has the best chance of conducting an RLMT that is compliant with Home Office regulations.

The RLMT procedure is relatively straightforward; however, HR directors and/or employers risk making costly mistakes if the process is not undertaken correctly.  This can lead to a Certificate of Sponsorship (COS) being refused; a costly disaster for many firms, who are suffering from a skills shortage.  HR directors and employers need to be aware that the current government is alert to any mistakes relating to the running of an RLMT and will not hesitate to refuse a COS if the slightest error is made.

The RLMT is designed to ensure there are no settled UK nationals (or EEA nationals living in the UK) who can do the job being recruiting for.  Keeping this in mind can assist HR directors/employers to understand the motivations behind Home Office policies and procedures.

To help you conduct a compliant RLMT, here are our top three tips:

One - Understand the essential elements of the RLMT and how advertisements should be placed

The basics of an RLMT are relatively straightforward.  HR directors/employers need to:

  • Run an advertisement for the position they are recruiting for, and these must be run for a period of at least 28 days;
  • Place two advertisements for the role in question on an approved recruitment platform; and
  • Ensure the advertisements contain detailed information on the skills and qualifications required for the role, along with information concerning the location, salary, and a job description.

Unless the annual salary for the position is £73,900 or more, one of the advertisements must be placed with Jobcentre Plus.

The second ad must be placed on another platform. Options include:

  • A national newspaper
  • Trade Journals
  • Professional recruitment websites, e.g.

If the position pays £73,900 or more, the two advertisements must be placed on one of the approved platforms such as a newspaper or recruitment website.

Two – Make sure you understand the duties involved when considering applications and keeping records

HR directors/employers need to comply with many duties and record-keeping activities when running an RLMT.  Investing in an Immigration solicitor gives organisations the best chance of ensuring correct records are kept.

Bear in mind that when the advertisement is placed, it is pertinent to:

  • Take a screenshot of both advertisements on the first day of the listing and keep PDF copies of the photos.
  • Make sure the advertisements stay the same over the 28-day process.  If you make a mistake or need to change something in the advertisement, it is better to start again rather than try and correct the original ads.
  • Ensure the advertisements are in place for the full 28 days.

Once applications are received, HR directors/employers need to evaluate all applications carefully.  Applicants who have the skills and qualifications listed in the advertisement should be offered an interview.

You must be able to prove all elements of your recruitment decision-making process to Immigration officials.  Accurate record-keeping is imperative.  Not only must you show the successful applicant was the right person for the job, but you also need to demonstrate why the rejected candidates were not.

To ensure your record- keeping is compliant with Home Office policies and procedures, make sure you retain on file:

The names and addresses of the shortlisted applicants.

  • Copies of their CVs, application letters, and any email correspondence.
  • Your interview notes.
  • If a settled worker was rejected, the reasons why.
  • Evidence that the successful applicant met all the criteria listed in the advertisement, including copies of qualifications, work history, etc.

Three – Know when an RLMT does not need to be undertaken

There are situations in which an RLMT does not need to be run.  These include:

  • Where the job comes with a salary of £159,600 or above, or;
  • The position you are recruiting for appears on the UK Shortage Occupation List, or;
  • The migrant is already working for you, and they need to extend their leave in the same Immigration category to continue to work for you in the same position.

The UK Shortage Occupation list can be difficult to decipher.  Working with an experienced Immigration solicitor will give you the best chance of clearly understanding what type of roles fall within its strict boundaries.

Getting the RLMT right first time

The RLMT is a crucial element of recruiting Tier 2 workers.  HR directors/employers need to understand the critical compliance aspects of the test, to ensure they can obtain the COS they need.

No matter how many RLMTs your organisation has run, it is easy to make mistakes or miss out a key record-keeping duty.  By engaging an Immigration lawyer, you can allow them to run the process for you, so you can get on with what you do best, running and growing your business.

By instructing an experienced solicitor to manage the RLMT on your behalf, you can have peace of mind that you will not be prevented from hiring the non-EEA national/s you need to drive your organisation forward.

OTS Solicitors is one of the most respected Immigration law firms in London.  By making an appointment with one of our Immigration solicitors, you can be assured of receiving some of the best legal advice available in the UK today.  Our business immigration solicitors, Teni Shahiean, Oshin Shahiean, Najma Ali and Dr Lusine Navasardyan, have extensive experience of assisting HR directors/employers in conducting a compliant RLMT.

If you wish to discuss any of the points raised in this blog, please phone our London office on 0203 959 9123.




Relevant People: 

For the best expert legal advice and outcome on your UK Immigration application, contact OTS Immigration solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online.


We are one of the UK’s top firms for Immigration solicitors and civil liberties lawyers. We can advise on a broad range of Immigration issues including Appeals and Refusals, Judicial Reviews, Spouse Visas, Student Visas, Work Permit Visas, Indefinite Leave to Remain, EEA Applications, Asylum and human rights, British Citizenship, All types of visas, Business Immigration Visas, Entrepreneur Visas and Investor Visas.

Our top Immigration solicitors and lawyers are here to assist you.


Disclaimer: The information and comments on this page/site is made available free of charge and for educational and information purposes only. The information and comments do not amount to and are not intended to be adopted as legal advice to any individual or company. The use of this site should not be a substitute for specific legal advice, which we ask you to see our contact page or call our solicitors on 0203 959 9123.

By using this site you understand that there is no solicitor and client relationship between you/your company and the site owners or the firm. We make every effort to keep the published articles up-to-date and accurate, however the law changes very rapidly and the older the articles on this site, the more likely that the views in it have changed with the development of the law.