This Friday (14/02/20) the Government is believed to make an announcement regarding lowering the salary threshold for migrant workers from £30,000 to £25,600.
This recommendation was made by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) in late January 2020. Which received the backing of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC). The NHS also backed this but felt the threshold did not go far enough.
The Government has proposed an Australian-style points-based system (PBS). However, if a migrant is earning less than the new threshold they may still be able to enter the country. They will be awarded additional points if they speak good English, have a good education and wish to work in a sector with a skills shortage.
It is understood that workers from both European Union (EU) countries and non-EU countries will be subjected to the same rules following the end of the transitional period for the UK’s departure from the EU on the 31st December 2020.
A Home Office spokesperson said:
We will deliver on the people’s priorities by introducing a points-based immigration system from 2021 to attract the brightest and best talent from around the world, while cutting low-skilled immigration and bringing overall numbers down.
Gerwyn Davies, senior labour market analyst at the CIPD said:
It seems highly likely the number of high-skilled migrants that will come and live and work in the UK in the next decade will actually fall compared with the previous one.
The government can help relieve the pressure on employers somewhat by extending the proposed two-year youth mobility scheme to people of all ages, which would not require a job offer, especially if the government decides not to lower the salary threshold for shortage occupations.
It has been estimated that these rules could result in 90,000 fewer EU migrants per year but an increase in the number of skilled workers arriving in the UK, which is currently at 65,000.