In its recently published report, Review of Tier 2: Analysis of Salary Thresholds, the Migration Advisory Committee (‘MAC’) has warned the Government to be cautious when considering measures to reduce the number of individuals using Tier 2 of the Points Based System.
The Government commissioned the MAC in June 2015 to carry out a two stage review of Tier 2. Stage one concerned salary thresholds and stage two amounts to a much wider review of the scheme and its benefits.
The MAC has been asked to look specifically at:
- options to re-focus the route on areas where there are genuine skills shortages;
- how to limit the time that sectors can remain on a shortage list;
- the implementation of a levy on Tier 2 visas, to fund apprenticeships;
- restrictions on the automatic right of Tier 2 dependants to work;
- tightening up on the intra-company transfer (ICT) route, including applying the immigration health surcharge to ICTs;
- raising the minimum salary levels that migrants have to be paid.
In its report concerning salary thresholds, the MAC has set out its preference for using occupation-specific salary thresholds but has refrained from making recommendations on minimum salary thresholds for individual roles. In addition, little evidence was found by the MAC during its review to suggest that there is wide spread undercutting of UK resident worker salaries by individuals sponsored under Tier 2.
The MAC has also recommended that further consideration is needed concerning the impact of the Tier 2 (General) monthly limit being reached in recent months.
The closing date for responses to the wider review is Friday 25 September 2015 and we urge sponsor licence holders to submit detailed responses. The results are due in early 2016 and the MAC’s call for evidence can be found here.