UK set to relax NHS Tier 2 visa caps UK set to relax NHS Tier 2 visa caps

UK set to relax NHS Tier 2 visa caps
20 Jun 2018

Home secretary Sajid Javid is expected to announce that the Tier 2 visa cap will no longer apply to non-EU doctors and nurses wishing to work in Britain.

And, according to reports, British businesses will also be able to collectively recruit an additional 8,000 skilled migrants each year to work in professions including IT, engineering and teaching.

It is thought the move, first reported by the Telegraph, will free up the immigration cap in other professions by an estimated 40%, amid increasing concerns about the ability of the NHS and key industries to recruit sufficient talent.

Jonathan Beech, managing director of Migrate UK, welcomed the 'timely response' of the announcement.

"A lot of industry bodies have lobbied for this, so it’s a very good response to have at this point in time," he told People Management. "It might just be a sticking plaster, and we will need to wait three or four months to see if the situation eases, but at least it gives a good chance for individuals and workers coming to the UK."

Between November 2017 and April this year, more than 2,300 applications from doctors are reported to have been turned down under the cap.

Experts have suggested that an inability to recruit sufficient EU nationals in the wake of the Brexit vote has increased demand for non-EU migrants among businesses, which has in turn raised the salary requirements applied to visa applications.

And there have been effects in sectors beyond the NHS, with more than 1,600 IT specialists and engineers offered jobs in the UK being denied visas between December and March.

Experts have also called on Javid to consider restructuring the Tier 2 system so that it is no longer centred on salary, with current demand meaning that most migrants must now  earn around £55,000 to be eligible for one.

Meanwhile, it has emerged that NHS Trusts across the country are implicated in an unlawful tax dodge.

An investigation by the Independent Health Professionals Association (IHPA) has found that hundreds have exploited a VAT loophole enabling umbrella companies to pocket as much as 50% of VAT avoided by the NHS. 

At the same time, reports Independent Contractor, locum nurses and doctors around the UK are being forced to engage via the same umbrella companies as the NHS flouts the compliance requirements imposed by the Off-Payroll rules. Many locums have as a result been subject to an effective 30% drop in pay, it says.

"We have seen widespread evidence of blanket assessments whereby entire contingent workforces are forced into false employment and made to pick up the hirers tax bills," says Contractor Calculator chief executive Dave Chaplin.

HMRC denies the claims.

Emma Woollacott

Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC.

Home secretary Sajid Javid is expected to announce that the Tier 2 visa cap will no longer apply to non-EU doctors and nurses wishing to work in Britain.

And, according to reports, British businesses will also be able to collectively recruit an additional 8,000 skilled migrants each year to work in professions including IT, engineering and teaching.

It is thought the move, first reported by the Telegraph, will free up the immigration cap in other professions by an estimated 40%, amid increasing concerns about the ability of the NHS and key industries to recruit sufficient talent.

Jonathan Beech, managing director of Migrate UK, welcomed the 'timely response' of the announcement.

"A lot of industry bodies have lobbied for this, so it’s a very good response to have at this point in time," he told People Management. "It might just be a sticking plaster, and we will need to wait three or four months to see if the situation eases, but at least it gives a good chance for individuals and workers coming to the UK."

Between November 2017 and April this year, more than 2,300 applications from doctors are reported to have been turned down under the cap.

Experts have suggested that an inability to recruit sufficient EU nationals in the wake of the Brexit vote has increased demand for non-EU migrants among businesses, which has in turn raised the salary requirements applied to visa applications.

And there have been effects in sectors beyond the NHS, with more than 1,600 IT specialists and engineers offered jobs in the UK being denied visas between December and March.

Experts have also called on Javid to consider restructuring the Tier 2 system so that it is no longer centred on salary, with current demand meaning that most migrants must now  earn around £55,000 to be eligible for one.

Meanwhile, it has emerged that NHS Trusts across the country are implicated in an unlawful tax dodge.

An investigation by the Independent Health Professionals Association (IHPA) has found that hundreds have exploited a VAT loophole enabling umbrella companies to pocket as much as 50% of VAT avoided by the NHS. 

At the same time, reports Independent Contractor, locum nurses and doctors around the UK are being forced to engage via the same umbrella companies as the NHS flouts the compliance requirements imposed by the Off-Payroll rules. Many locums have as a result been subject to an effective 30% drop in pay, it says.

"We have seen widespread evidence of blanket assessments whereby entire contingent workforces are forced into false employment and made to pick up the hirers tax bills," says Contractor Calculator chief executive Dave Chaplin.

HMRC denies the claims.

Emma Woollacott

Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC.

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