(27 January 2020) – UK business leaders have urged Boris Johnson’s government to loosen its planned rules for post-Brexit migration, notably by dropping the minimum income needed to live and work in the UK.
After officially leaving the EU next week, and promising to end freedom of movement, the UK government wants to focus on attracting ‘high skilled’ workers to the UK, based on the ‘points-based’ system used by Australia. It has accepted a recommendation from the independent Migration Advisory Committee to introduce a minimum annual salary requirement of £30,000 (€36,000) for ‘skilled migrants’ seeking five-year visas.
However, a survey by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), published on Friday (24 January), revealed that 35% of small firms in the UK hire staff who are classed as ‘high-skilled’ on jobs with salaries on lower than £30,000. Over 80% of those businesses added that they could not afford to increase salaries to meet the threshold.
58% of businesses surveyed also stated that the income threshold should be lowered in instances where workers already in the UK are struggling to fill a job. (EurActiv)