Will the Home Secretary lower
the minimum salary threshold
for migrants?

Sajid Javid has gone back to the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to ask it to reconsider the minimum salary threshold for migrant workers after Brexit.

In September last year, the MAC made a recommendation that employers should set a minimum of £30,000 when recruiting foreign workers.  This would attract highly skilled migrant talent and ensure that locals are not undercut by employees willing to accept lower wages.

But this does not address how to fill vacancies in lower-paid sectors like hospitality, healthcare and construction.

The Home Secretary, who announced yesterday that he will be running for the position of Conservative party leader, asked the MAC to examine whether companies should pay ‘the going rate’ after Brexit.  The Sun reported that:

‘Saj is basically telling the MAC to go away and do their work all over again. He knows Theresa is off and he’s cashing in.’

The Home Secretary has already embarked on a ‘programme of engagement’ around the country with leaders from the private, public and voluntary sectors to discuss whether this salary threshold will be the best way to encourage business growth in all areas.

He expects the MAC to look particularly at regional differences in wages and any schemes that encourage new or experienced workers to be initially paid less, with a view to being promoted and remunerated later in their career.

The National Federation of Builders (NFB) welcomed the Home Secretary’s decision to look again the salary threshold for all industries. Richard Beresford of the NFB said:

‘The government needs to understand the high value of construction workers to the economy, when deciding the immigration rules after Brexit. 

‘Faced with the most significant housing crisis in 70 years and acute skills shortages, the government must adopt a flexible approach to immigration that allows companies to continue to access skilled labour from our closest neighbouring countries, while also fostering the training of home-grown talent.’

The MAC’s new report is expected by the end of the year.

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