According to recent reports, more than half of the employers in the UK with staff from outside of the UK will suffer as a result of the proposed system for the UK work permit after Brexit. A survey into 380 businesses was conducted by the British Chambers of Commerce, in collaboration with the job website Indeed. The study found that 53% of employers would face negative repercussions if the proposed requirements for the tier 2 work permit were put into place.
According to more than half of the respondents in the study, the minimum cap of £30,000 on the salary required to access a tier 2 work permit could present serious problems for today's businesses. Around 57% of the people in the study said that they would also be affected by plans to impose 12-month work and residency limits for the UK work permit for low-skilled migrants. This would mean that these workers would be forced to leave the UK for at least a year following the expiration of any UK visas.
The latest reports also suggest that businesses are concerned about the extension to the Immigration Skills Charge that could appear for EU nationals. Currently, this charge is only paid by employers for workers recruited from outside of the EU. Around 31% of respondents said that this additional fee would add to the costs of employing people from overseas. The current proposals for the new UK work permit come from the Immigration white paper released by the UK government in November 2018.
However, last month, the MAC committee said that they would begin looking into how salary thresholds should be calculated according to the new Immigration UK system. This includes looking into whether there is a need for regional limits.
The British Chambers of Commerce has now called for the new prime minister to take a closer look at the proposed restrictions around the UK work permit, and what that could mean to the future of British business. If companies are unable to recruit the skills and labour they need, then the whole of the UK could suffer as a result. After all, while many companies are investing more in home-grown talent, most will also need to access the skills of migrants too.