To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to her 19 February 2020 policy statement entitled The UK's points-based immigration system, whether she has made an assessment of the potential effect of the (a) exclusion of an immigration route for low-skilled work and (b) general salary threshold of £25,600 on the adequacy of the number of staff in the health and social care sector.
30 June 2020
We will not be introducing an immigration route for those who do not meet the skills and salary threshold for the skilled worker route and to allow employers to recruit at or near the legal minimum wage across the globe.
Following advice from the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) the Government has reduced both the general salary and skills thresholds for those who wish to come to the UK to work. There will also be an element of “tradeable” points which will mean that those who do not meet the general salary threshold may still be able to enter the UK if, for example, they have a job in a shortage occupation.
Additionally, we will be introducing a new fast-track Health and Care visa. This will make it easier and quicker for the best global health professionals to work in the NHS, for NHS commissioned service providers, and in eligible occupations in the social care sector.
The MAC has been clear immigration is not the sole answer to the challenges in the social care sector. As we implement the new immigration system, we want employers to focus on investing in our domestic work force, including those who may need to find new employment due to the impact of the present circumstances relating to Covid-19.
The Government is working closely with the sector to go further to recognise the contributions of social care workers. We will keep labour market data under very careful scrutiny to monitor any pressures in key sectors, especially considering recent events.