MAC review of Tier 2 salary thresholds - NHS Employers response

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08 / 7 / 2015 Midnight

NHS Employers has responded on behalf of employers to the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) review of Tier 2 salary thresholds.

The MAC is currently reviewing Tier 2 of the Points Based Immigration System, with a view to making recommendations about reducing migration to the UK.

The first part of this review focuses on Tier 2 salary thresholds as one of the key components of the immigration process, and MAC is scheduled to publish its report and recommendations by 21 July 2015.

We have submitted a collective response on behalf of employers in the NHS, following MAC's recent call for evidence.

Key points in our response:

  • Having the right skills in the workforce enables the delivery of high quality, safe and compassionate care to patients.
  • When the NHS undertakes recruitment campaigns overseas or is seeking to employ the skills of an individual doctor, healthcare scientist or radiographer, it is because there is no-one available from the resident labour market who has applied for the position. To leave it unfilled will:
    • have a negative impact on the morale and motivation of the current workforce who will often cover gaps to keep services going.  
    • lead to increased use of temporary and agency staff (where they exist). This has shown to impact on the quality and continuity of care and is expensive, particularly with ‘hard to fill’ posts when agency rates are driven higher due to the demand for the skill. With a national focus on managing agency costs it becomes more critical to be able to employ the skilled professionals already offered jobs who are currently unable to apply for a visa.
    • impact on the delivery of patient care, which might mean longer waiting times for diagnosis or referral for treatment; needing to travel to a different site or difficulties in providing the level of high quality care the organisation wants to provide and the patient expects.
  • We fully support any action to ensure there is no under-cutting of the resident labour market through using overseas recruitment and that the going-rate’ is paid.
  • The NHS uses nationally agreed salary scales for all staff which ensures there is no under-cutting of the resident workforce from employing overseas recruits.
  • Planning, commissioning and training additional skilled healthcare professionals takes a minimum of four years.

Read our full response.

The first part of the MAC review is now closed for submissions, though it will still be possible for employers to give feedback on other elements of the Tier 2 process in the second part of the review, which was announced on Friday 03 July.

We will release further information regarding the MAC recommendations for salary thresholds when it becomes available (expected by 21 July) and will also shortly advise on our approach for a collective employer response to the second part of the review (due by 25 September 2015).  

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