New occupations and proposed changes to UK ISL (immigration salary list) | Moorepay

Employment Legislation

New occupations and proposed changes to UK ISL (immigration salary list)

Legislation

New occupations and proposed changes to UK ISL (immigration salary list)

Date

April 2024

Summary

Following the government’s five-point plan to reduce immigration and “crack down on cut-priced labour from overseas,” announced December 2023, several significant changes have been implemented.

Effective from April this year, the plan includes:

  • Ending the 20% salary discount for shortage occupations.

  • Replacing the shortage occupations list with a new immigration salary list.

  • Increasing the earning threshold for skilled worker visas from £26,200 to £38,700.

  • Health and care workers, and professions like teachers with national pay scales, remain exempt from the increased salary thresholds. However, care workers can no longer bring family members on dependent health and care visas, and care firms sponsoring visas must be regulated by the Care Quality Commission.

  • Raising the minimum salary threshold for a family visa from £18,600 to £38,700.

Despite the government’s intent to attract talent, these changes have raised concerns among businesses. 

The higher recruitment costs now equate the costs of recruiting from the EU to those from elsewhere, impacting smaller businesses and sectors with lower pay scales, such as hospitality and care.

Universities have also reported difficulties in offering competitive salaries within their set bands, potentially leading to fewer qualified professionals in specialised roles.

Healthcare and tech sectors are worried about the removal of roles from the Shortage Occupation List, which could make it harder to recruit skilled workers.

Concerns have been further highlighted by the recent withdrawal of job offers by firms like KPMG, HSBC, and Deloitte.

The impact of government schemes designed to get people back into work, such as boot camps for fast-track training in areas like HGV driving, care, and hospitality, remains to be seen.

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