Employment of third-country nationals, i.e. countries not covered by the regime of free movement of labour within the EU and EEA, poses an obstacle for both employers and potential future employees in the form of a relatively high administrative burden. This administrative burden can be alleviated by using the Key and Scientific Personnel (KSP), Highly Skilled Employee (HSE) or Skilled Employee (SE) programmes, two of which have recently undergone several changes, as summarised below.
In order to successfully qualify for the KSP programme, which is intended for highly skilled employees and researchers, a capital link between the sending company and the receiving company must now be met. If this condition is not met, the programme can only be used if the receiving company is an organisational unit of the sending company, with the proviso that the employee must have been employed by the sending company for at least 6 months at the moment of being sent.
Other changes are common to the HSE and KSP programmes, namely the extension of the barriers that exclude some employers from using these programmes. This applies to employers that have been fined for disguised mediation of employment. Disguised mediation means a situation where one employer “leases” labour to another employer without complying with the conditions laid down in the Employment Act. This barrier was already in place in the SE programme and has now only been introduced also in the HSE and KSP programmes.
The second change, which again affects both the HSE and KSP programmes, is the need to include and apply for the entire family of the employee simultaneously. If the application is not submitted simultaneously also for the immediate family members covered by the programme, those family members will not be allowed to use the programme.