The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has been tasked with reviewing the Shortage Occupation List. Employers and other stakeholders can expect an invite to provide evidence to the MAC shortly. Given the shortages in labour that are being experienced across the UK, we would strongly recommend responding to this.
The call for evidence will appear here.
Communication and timeframe
In his commissioning letter to the MAC, Kevin Foster MP, Minster for Safe and Legal Migration, confirmed that any recommendations made by the MAC which are accepted by the Government will be incorporated into the Immigration Rules in Autumn 2023.
However, in its response the MAC suggested that there may be delays to this timeframe depending on how the Government wants it to deal with the fact that the there are some issues with how the new SOC 2020 occupational codes have been applied to datasets the MAC would use.
The MAC has suggested different ways forward to the Government which it is considering. In any event, we recommend that employers start considering now how to engage with MAC’s Call for Evidence.
Scope of the review
The MAC has been asked to consider three key areas:
Salaries: at the moment, jobs that are on the Shortage Occupation List (SOL) benefit from a lower salary requirement. Sponsored workers must be paid the higher of the going rate referred to on the SOL, less a 20% discount, or £20,480 (or £10.10 an hour). The MAC is to report on whether this benefit should be removed.
Jobs currently on the SOL: the MAC is to report on whether or not any jobs currently listed should be removed.
New jobs: finally, the MAC will consider if any new roles should be added to the SOL.
Employers should start to collate evidence now that addresses their specific needs in relation to the SOL. This should include information on how longer-term shortages will be addressed without the need to rely on overseas labour.
How our Immigration Solicitors can help
If you require legal advice regarding sponsoring workers, or any other aspect of immigration law, our immigration specialists are always happy to have an initial discussion, please contact us or complete our enquiry form below.
Please note: we cannot help individuals to find or apply for jobs and will be unable to respond to such requests.