Migrant Advisory Committee to Consider Measures to Reduce Demand for Migrant Labour
The Government has asked the Migrant Advisory Committee (“MAC”) to consider new measures to reduce the demand for migrant labour from outside the EEA, seen by the Government as a crucial part of its plans for cutting net migration.
The MAC has been asked to advise on:
- Restricting work visas to areas where there are genuine skills shortages and to highly specialist experts;
- Raising the minimum salary that migrant workers have to be paid. This is aimed at stopping businesses using foreign workers to undercut wages;
- Tightening up the intra company transferee (ICT) route. This is to include extending the immigration health surcharge to ICTs;
- A new levy on Tier 2 visas. This will be used to fund UK apprenticeships;
- Restrictions on the automatic right of Tier 2 dependants to work; and
- Putting a time limit on how long a sector can claim to have skills shortage.
The Home Secretary has asked the MAC to fast track proposals on raising the salary threshold for Tier 2 visas so that they can be introduced as part of the Autumn Immigration Rule changes. The MAC will deliver the rest of its proposals by the end of the year.
The above instructions to the MAC demonstrate the Government’s commitment to reducing migration from outside the EEA. We await the MAC’s proposals which could have a significant impact on the ability of UK businesses to recruit their preferred candidates in the future. We hope that any new restrictions will strike an appropriate balance and not seek to penalise businesses which have a legitimate need to employ non-EEA workers.
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