The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has urged the Government to be cautious over any early decision to raise the minimum salary requirements for skilled migrant workers, pending the completion of the MAC’s wider review of the Tier 2 route later this year.
In its report, Review of Tier 2: An analysis of salary thresholds, the MAC sets out its preference for using occupation-specific salary thresholds but does not, at this stage, make recommendations on minimum salary thresholds for individual roles.
The MAC was commissioned in June to carry out a review of the Tier 2 route. The commission was split into two parts: the early advice on Tier 2 salary thresholds and a wider review which will be delivered to Government at the end of the year.
The Penningtons Manches immigration team and Tech London Advocates (TLA) made a joint submission to the MAC and two of their recommendations were mentioned in the report: "Penningtons Manches said that not all highly specialised/skilled roles are highly paid and therefore raising salary thresholds across the board, without taking into consideration the industry, the sector, where these jobs are located, and whether the firm is a start-up will have a highly detrimental impact on recruitment into these skilled roles.”
In response to the question regarding the impact of increasing the Tier 2 minimum thresholds from the 10th to the 25th percentile for each occupation for new entrant workers, “Penningtons Manches said that to comply with the new increased rate, companies will need to raise the graduate level salaries for all workers so as not to discriminate.”
Pat Saini, head of immigration, said: “We are very encouraged that MAC has urged the Government to be cautious about making any major changes to the salary thresholds as this mirrors our view that care must be exercised and salary levels should not to be increased or viewed in isolation.”
The report also suggests that further work is needed to consider the impact of the Tier 2 (General) monthly limit being reached in June and July, particularly given that applications for Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) for those lower-paying occupations not on the Shortage Occupation List are at greater risk of being refused.