The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has today published its report following the consultation on Tier 2 minimum salary thresholds. The MAC has adopted a cautious approach and is not making any recommendations at this stage, pending analysis of the results from the current wider Tier 2 Review consultation, which is due to be reported on in December this year.
The main points to arise from the report are:
- A recommendation that the government should be cautious in making any significant changes to salary thresholds at this stage;
- Salary thresholds should be considered in conjunction with the wider Tier 2 Review findings and in particular the impact of introducing a skills levy on employers;
- The MAC’s preference is for occupation-specific salary thresholds rather than overall minimum salary thresholds for each of the Tier 2 categories;
- At this stage, there is a case for increasing the overall minimum threshold for Tier 2 (General) – currently set at £20,800 – because this figure was calculated in 2009 when the skill level requirement for migrant workers was much lower than it is now;
- The minimum salary threshold for the intra-company transfer long-term category of £41,500 still appears appropriate;
- There is little evidence to suggest there is widespread undercutting of UK resident workers by Tier 2 migrants occurring under the current salary thresholds, but this is subject to further analysis;
- The MAC will continue to assess evidence on variations in regional pay but takes the view there are no major regional variations requiring urgent attention;
- Further work is needed to consider the impact of the Tier 2 (General) monthly limit being reached in June and July, particularly for those lower-paying occupations not on the SOL which are at greater risk of being refused; and
- The Government should consider looking at healthcare roles/graduate recruitment schemes separately from the Tier 2 limit in order to address the issue of refusals for these categories in the short-term.
What this report highlights is the importance of evidence from contributors to the consultation as without this the MAC cannot make representative recommendations to the government. The report is the best outcome for Sponsors and it is to be hoped that the government will heed the MAC’s advice.
As referenced in today's report, the MAC's wider consultation on the Tier 2 route will further consider the salary thresholds alongside a greater range of issues, so we urge you to have your say and contribute to the consultation. You can do so by taking part in our survey, the views from which will form part of Kingsley Napley's response to the MAC consultation by 25 September. Please click on the link below to take the survey.
Alternatively, you can submit your own response to the MAC - the details can be found HERE.
You may also wish to attend our seminar on 10 September, at which Professor Sir David Metcalf CBE and Anna Lacey from the MAC will present their findings so far and you will have an opportunity to share your concerns and suggestions with them. Please CLICK HERE for details.