Skip to content

09 April 2024

“Robust and Fair”?: New immigration measures poised to add more fuel to the fire

3 mins

Tanya Goldfarb, Head of Business Immigration at Bindmans, comments on the 4 April 2024 statement issued by the government aimed at justifying the hostile immigration environment.

It is with dismay that we note that on the very day that the government introduced its promised raft of measures in relation to sponsored overseas national workers, the Home Office released a statement hailing the measures to “clamp down on cut-price foreign labour”.

Using such inflammatory and, frankly, incorrect, language, only serves to contribute to the hostile immigration environment, which is of course what the government has set out to do. The changes which came into effect on 4 April 2024, focused on increasing the salary thresholds for sponsored workers and removed a substantial number of roles from the Shortage Occupation List, which is now re-named the Immigration Salary List. This government, which is hell bent on delivering its commitment to “drive down net migration”, seems to completely disregard the benefits that a culturally diverse global workforce brings, not only to the individual company, but the UK as a whole.

In the statement, the government advocated that the restrictions now faced by UK based employers from recruiting overseas nationals will be “helping to grow the UK economy”. Designed to encourage employers to “invest in training, upskilling and hiring domestic workers first”, these measures represent a blinkered view of the British economy and ride roughshod over the efforts of small to medium sized British businesses.

The full statement can be found here.

Further expressing disapproval with the new rules and their imminent detrimental effect to the UK economy, Tanya Goldfarb stated:

I am disheartened that the government has introduced further measures designed to prevent the supposed ‘flow of cheap workers from abroad’, as per the Home Secretary’s comments. His statement that ‘mass migration is unsustainable and it’s simply not fair’ categorically ignores the advantages to businesses, and to Britain as a whole, that migrants bring. The Home Secretary seems to ignore his own policies and those of the government when he states that the inclusion of workers from overseas ‘undercuts the wages of hard-working people who are just trying to make ends meet.’

In advocating that the immigration system is being refocused to ”prioritise the brightest and the best who have the skills our economy needs”, the Home Secretary disregards the very real needs of the British economy, from teachers through to mechanics, academics, nurses, and those in the creative sector, to name just a few.

With the first of three rises to the Minimum Income Requirement threshold for partners and spouses of British citizens/those Settled in the UK, set to rise on 11 April 2024, up from £18,600pa to £29,000pa, it seems that the government doesn’t just want to penalise workers but anybody who isn’t British.

These rafts of measures are just the latest example of the government’s failure to understand the advantages that migration brings to the UK, culturally, economically, industrially, socially and globally. It demonstrates that its inability to consider what is in fact best for the country, knows no stupidity or cruelty. They ignore the benefits that a global economy plays and will further serve to limit the exchange of ideas, practices and information that a world-wide workforce can deliver.

For more information on our immigration services for individuals click here.

For information on our immigration services for businesses, please see here.

How can we help you?

We are here to help. If you have any questions for us, please get in touch below.