Care Home Management

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UK Care Home News

ONS shows 135% rise in health and care visa route

New ONS migration stats show an increase of 135 per cent in the health and care visa route since September 2022.

Care leaders believe that huge increases in health and care visa holders will put the spotlight on foreign worker employment practices. Among predictions for the sector, Chris Harber, head of immigration at law firm Boyes Turner, says that the sector can expect to see a significant rise in compliance in 2024.

This is also borne out by recent correspondence from the Migration Advisory Committee, which said it “plans to closely monitor the use of the immigration system by care work occupations, and the health and social care sector more broadly”. The MAC has pledged to add further details in its 2023 annual report, to be published next month (December).

Harber said: “The [figures] reflect the critical scale of the labour challenge in health and care currently. Care home management will need to ensure processes are 100 per cent watertight, in terms of proactive compliance, general employment law and of course, Modern Slavery guidelines.”

Care provider The Independent Care Group (ICG) has urged the Government not to alter the system at “a very delicate time”.

ICG Chair Mike Padgham added: “Care providers fought long and hard to get access to visas.. the vast majority of social care providers have adhered to the rules and found overseas recruitment a lifeline. It would be an absolute disaster if overseas recruitment were to be hampered or reduced and the care of the most vulnerable would suffer.”

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