Kingsley Napley has submitted its Response to the Migration Advisory Committee’s (MAC) Call for Evidence on its review of the Tier 2 minimum salary thresholds. To read our Response in full, please click here. Our key findings are as follows:
A majority of Sponsors have reported that Tier 2 salary thresholds tend to align to Sponsors’ wage structures, although there are a significant number of Sponsors who have had to increase their salary offer in order to employ a Tier 2 migrant.
A number of Sponsors reported that pay is not necessarily a good proxy for high levels of specialisation/skill, for example, in certain sectors where wages tend to be lower, e.g. engineering. This also applies to start-ups.
The vast majority of Sponsors reported that there would be a detrimental impact if minimum salary levels for more junior positions were raised to align more with salaries paid for highly skilled/specialised positions.
Specifically with regard to the proposal to increase the percentile for new entrant workers from the 10th to 25th, a high number of Sponsors reported either a severe impact, high impact or some impact particularly in relation to global Graduate Recruitment Schemes. Outside these schemes, lower wage, high-skilled sectors and start-ups, where salary is not a proxy for skills, would be particularly severely affected.
A much greater detrimental impact was reported by the vast majority of Sponsors with regard to the proposal to increase the experienced worker minimum salary threshold to the 50th percentile. The main impact here for certain Sponsors would be the large increase in salary required when moving from the new entrant to the experienced worker rate after three years.
For those Sponsors who have established International Graduate Schemes in the UK, for example professional services firms, the minimum salary issue has become critical. Many were unable to secure Tier 2 Restrictive Certificates of Sponsorship for their 2015 intake of graduates as the June allocation was taken up by those applicants earning in excess of £46,000.
The MAC has recently launched its second consultation on the Tier 2 route in general. Further details can be found here on the MAC’s website. We will, of course, be responding to this consultation and we await the MAC’s first report which we will share with you once published.
For further information on the issues raised in this post, please contact a member of the immigration team.