NHS Employers responds to Migration Advisory Committee's Tier 2 review

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05 / 10 / 2015 10.32am

NHS Employers has responded on behalf of employers to the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) review of Tier 2 of the points based immigration system.

In August 2015 we invited employers to provide evidence to inform our response to the second stage of MAC's review into Tier 2. This stage was a wider evaluation of the Tier 2 route, with a view to making recommendations about reducing migration to the UK. 

Below you will find a summary of the key implications of the review together with the key points from our response.

Key implications of the review and our response  

  • Restricting the Tier 2 route so that employers will only be able to recruit for occupations on a shortage occupation list, closing down the resident labour market route.
    • We support use of the resident labour market test as a means of identifying a shortage occupation, yet recognise that the current system of points allocation needs reviewing to ensure equal and fair provision of restricted certificates of sponsorship.  
  • Limiting the length of time occupations can remain on shortage list. 
    • We need a dynamic shortage occupation list which is both responsive to changing demands and subject to robust review.
    • Having a fixed time period for all occupations to remain on the list, regardless of time to train or the economic or political context was not supported by employers in the NHS; we need the opportunity to rebalance supply with demand.
  • Applying a skills levy to employers recruiting outside of EEA (proceeds could fund apprenticeships or other forms of training for resident workers).
    • Though an interesting concept, we and the employers are unsure that creating a tax on organisations who require the skills of professionals from overseas, with the funds being used to support additional apprenticeships, will help us to reduce the need for overseas recruitment.  
  • Restricting the automatic right of dependants of Tier 2 visa holders to work.
    • This is a complex issue, with limited data available to aid its debate. Discussions have highlighted differing experiences, some professionals tending to relocate on their own, whilst for others, the relocation of their partners, and their ability to contribute to household income is crucial. We suggest a further impact assessment is undertaken so that we can fully understand the consequences before moving away from our current position.

Read our full response.

Tier 2 first part submission

The review of Tier 2 was split into two parts, the first of which concerned early advice on Tier 2 salary thresholds. On 13 August 2015 the MAC published a report on its analysis of salary thresholds. We are pleased to see that the MAC has made reference to the challenges for the health sector if minimum salary thresholds are increased.

We will publish further information on the progress of this stage of the review when it becomes available. Further updates can also be found in our weekly workforce bulletin.

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