Immigration White Paper – a devastating impact on health and social care sector, says Royds Withy King

The Government’s new immigration system published today fails to tackle the deepening staffing crisis in the health and social care sector, according to Royds Withy King solicitors.

The Immigration White Paper severely limits the ability of health and care providers to recruit so-called low-skilled care workers from the EU after Brexit. The new restriction is in addition to existing immigration control on international workers.

Under proposals, employers will have to sponsor workers from the EU and internationally to work in the UK in the future. EU workers won’t get priority for UK work visas, and employers will have to pay each worker at least £30,000 per annum which is significantly more than the current annual salary for care workers.

The UK Government intends to introduce a short term scheme to enable low skilled workers from specified countries to work in the UK for up to one year, however individuals would not be able to extend their stay, or switch into other visa categories in the UK. The government also wants to plug the vacancy gap in certain sectors by extending the current Youth Mobility Scheme to EU countries, enabling individuals aged between 18 and 30 to work in the UK for up to two years.

Helen Murphie, an immigration specialist and partner in the Health & Social Care team said:

Many care staff and nurses have left the UK since the Brexit referendum which is putting a strain on services.”

“Measures to extend the Youth Mobility Scheme, and to introduce a short term visa for the low skilled are unlikely to assist care providers in any meaningful way because in both cases they are time restricted and offer little incentive for people from overseas to leave their home countries to work in the UK. The Youth Mobility Scheme is subject to an age limit of 30 and many care workers are older than 30.”men book.