UK: Consultation on Tier 2 Category Commissioned

Yesterday, 18th June 2015, the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), an independent public body that advises the government on migration issues, were commissioned to advise on limiting the scope of employment for skilled workers outside the European Economic Area (EEA) under Tier 2 of the Point Based System (PBS).
 
The commission is split in to two parts with the first part of the consultation to consider raising the minimum salary threshold for “new entrants” and “experienced workers” under Tier 2 (General) and the salary threshold for Tier 2 (ICT) assignees. Following this, a  second review has also been commissioned to consider an overhaul to the current Tier 2 category. The first part of the review will be finalised on 21st July 2015 and the second part of the review by mid-December 2015.
 
The central theme to the two consultations will be:
 

  • Restricting Tier 2 General recruitment to a genuine skills shortage so that only highly specialist experts are hired

  • Limiting the length of time an occupation can be classed a shortage and what would be an appropriate duration

  • Applying a skills levy on companies recruiting migrant workers

  • Scope to tighten the ICT route and what impact this would have on businesses and the economy

  • Restricting dependents to work on their dependent visa and the impact this may have

 
As an immediate concern, the increase of minimum salary thresholds will have an impact on experienced employees whose current salaries perhaps only marginally exceed the minimum threshold requirement or for workers in sectors which generally do not attract high salary and those that are from regions outside London.
 
If the salary falls below consequential changes introduced in the near future this could impact the migrant and company by failing to satisfy the salary threshold and therefore leaving a gap of talent to be filled. 
 
In a wider concern, the possible changes to the Tier 2 category may have significant impact on the businesses” ability to resource crucial projects and fill skills shortages as quickly as they may have been used to in the past couple of years.
 
Interested parties concerned, are invited to furnish their views and evidence to help the MAC to formulate a response to the government to support the decision making process.
 
We are encouraging all businesses to consider how this may impact your business and provide us with evidence of your concerns. We are to present our findings to the MAC and will be holding a meeting with the MAC together with clients to raise industry concerns of restricting the Tier 2 category. Any companies who wish to attend this should register their interest at partners@newlandchase.com

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