Immigration Bill: “A slap for carers”

The government’s backing of the Immigration Bill can only be considered a slap for carers, a legal expert has said.

James Sage, partner and head of social care at law firm Royds Withy King said: “

“The Immigration Bill … will deliver a punishing blow to the country’s valiant social care sector, which is on the frontline tackling Covid-19 and currently facing a shortfall of 128,000 staff, with that number growing exponentially over the next decade.

“The salary cap of £25,600 will exclude the social care sector from recruiting much needed staff from overseas for the foreseeable future.”

The Bill, which has already been slammed at the highest levels in social care, makes no allowance for part-time staff even if they earn the required amount on a pro-rata basis.

“In a sector that is heavily reliant on a part-time and predominantly female workforce it will be particularly challenging to meet the salary threshold,” Sage says.

The law firm has called on Government to re-consider a visa exemption for social care staff as it has done for seasonal workers within the agricultural industry. It should then immediately start work on an effective strategy for recruiting more UK staff to work in the sector to address the existing workforce crisis.

“If the Government wants to achieve its aim of driving up pay rates to attract more UK staff, and reduce reliance on overseas staff, it will also need to substantially increase funding to the sector,” added Sage

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