• Advisory Committee Recommends Minimum Salary Increase for Skilled Workers
  • August 14, 2015
  • Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
  • United Kingdom

    Further to the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC)’s request for advice from the Home Office regarding reducing non-EU migration to the UK by increasing the minimum salary level, the MAC has concluded that there is a case for the overall minimum threshold for Tier 2 (General) to be increased.

    The MAC’s reasoning for this conclusion is that the current amount, £20,800, was calculated in 2009 when the skill requirement for migrant workers was much lower. This could mean a substantial increase in the salary threshold to £31,000 or £39,000.

    However, the MAC has urged the Home Office to be cautious over any decision to raise the minimum salary for skilled foreign workers pending the completion of the MAC’s review of the Tier 2 category later this year.

    Additional Report Findings

    In its report, the MAC sets out its preference for using occupation-specific salary thresholds, but does not make recommendations on minimum salary thresholds for individual roles. Their initial call for evidence suggested that minimum salaries could increase by £10,000 to £25,000.

    The report also suggests that the impact of the Tier 2 (General) monthly limit being reached in June and July should be re-assessed, particularly given that applications for Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) for lower-paying occupations not on the Shortage Occupation List are at greater risk of being refused. The MAC suggests that a short-term solution could be to potentially temporarily exempt professions that would be particularly affected by the increase in minimum salary level, such as healthcare roles and graduate recruitment schemes.

    What This Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals

    If the MAC’s recommendations are adopted, employers and foreign nationals would be impacted by a potentially substantial minimum salary increase for the Tier 2 (General) category. Fragomen will communicate any developments on this issue.