In April this year the Chancellor announced that the UK's statutory residence test (SRT) would be relaxed for skilled workers coming to the UK to help tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

The Government has now tabled an amendment to the Finance Bill 2020 to make good on this promise. However, the changes are modest at best and in practice may not offer the comprehensive support that some had envisaged.

The proposed changes would allow certain visiting medical and healthcare workers (or those working in the pharmaceutical industry) to ignore days spent in the UK between 1 March 2020 and 1 June 2020  for the purposes of parts of the SRT if they were helping to combat the coronavirus during that time. The stated purpose is to avoid penalizing highly skilled individuals who came to the UK to help fight the virus .

Unfortunately, there are a number of situations which the rules do not cover. For example, time spent in the UK could still cause employees to fail the "full-time work overseas" test which would normally result in them being treated as non-UK resident. 

The changes will also do nothing for those who do not work in the healthcare or pharmaceutical industries.

Anyone who considers themselves to be non-UK resident but has spent more time than usual in the UK because of coronavirus should carefully consider their residence position.