As part of the ongoing focus on reducing migration the Government has asked the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to review some key aspects of the Tier 2 system. This follows hot on the heels of the monthly cap on non-EEA nationals entering the UK from overseas being reached in June for the first time since the imposition of the annual quota in 2010. This has meant that UK employers seeking to hire non-EEA nationals not already in the UK have been unable to do so unless their annual salary is £46,000 or more.
There are two stages to the MAC reviews. The first addresses the issue of the minimum salary thresholds which govern Tier 2, in particular the new hire and experienced rates in the Standard Occupation Codes. The MAC are seeking views on the impact of raising many of the minimum rates substantially. The deadline for submissions is very tight; all responses must be received by 3rd July 2015. The consultation document can be accessed by clicking here. It is vital that all employers who use Tier 2 review the questions and inform the MAC of any issues prior to the deadline so that they can be reflected in the output of the consultation.
The second stage, published in the summer of this year, will be a wider review of Tier 2 to include proposals to introduce further restrictions on the Tier 2 intra-company transfer route, the shortage occupation list, and removing the ability for dependants to work.