Those in the care sector, especially those responsible for finding staff, will rightly have been concerned by Home Secretary, Priti Patel's recent unveiling of a new post-Brexit health and care visa, which excludes social care workers. The opposition and the GMB union have expressed deep concern over the announcement. Part of the frustration is due to the lack of acknowledgment or understanding by the government that care work is a skilled occupation. In the words of shadow home secretary, Nick Thomas-Symonds, "to exclude care workers from the health visa is a clear signal that this government does not appreciate the skill and dedication these roles involve... it is yet another insult from this Tory party to those who have been at the frontline of this crisis [COVID-19]". Prof Martin Green, the chief executive of Care England, has put on record his view that the decision by the Home Office, especially in the context of the 20,000 care home deaths due to COVID-19, "has the potential to destabilize the sector even further with potentially disastrous consequences".
The government, however, takes the view that immigration of care workers should not be the solution to finding staff in this sector. The government webpage which covers the new health and care visa states, "the government is working closely with the sector to support and recognise the contributions of care workers. This includes a widespread focus on training and introducing a proper career structure to provide opportunities for those in the sector and makes it an attractive profession for prospective carers. The independent Migration Advisory Committee has been very clear that immigration is not the answer to the challenges in the social care sector and, as we implement the new immigration system, we want employers to focus on investing in our domestic workforce".
Addressing concerns over the lack of potential care staff post-Brexit, the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has insisted that the UK's new immigration system is not about "slamming the gates". Interestingly, when pushed further and asked if he thinks there will be enough people arriving in the UK to work in the social care system, he replied, "I do... We're seeing huge numbers of people registering for their right to remain, and that's great, so we have a big, big stock of workers who are helping out in this country who have come from abroad". In other words, he is still relying on EU nationals to, at least in part, staff the care sector, and is hoping that those arriving before the end of 2020 will remain. The issue here is that just because an EU national applies for pre-settled or settled status, doesn't mean they will stay forever. There may be a net outflow of EU citizens from the start of 2021, leaving the care sector increasingly struggling to find recruits.
Putting the political landscape aside, what can social care, care home, and other care service providers do to ensure they can continue to operate in 2021?
The full details of the new immigration policy are not yet available. But what is known is that it will be essential for any overseas citizens to have an offer of a job that is at an appropriate skill level from an approved sponsor. Overseas workers will also need a salary of £25,600 or more. By controlling what is deemed an 'appropriate skill level', the government will be able to make it possible to refuse applications for care workers. It would appear, therefore, that the Home Office is determined for the UK care sector to rely on domestic personnel. To confirm this, Priti Patel has stated "In line with ending free movement, there will be no immigration route for lower-skilled workers".
It may be that the government's position on not allowing lower-skilled workers to come to the UK may falter as the economic and political reality bites later in 2021. Until that happens, care organisations will have to rely on a blend of domestic and existing carers from the EU. It is possible that the government sees the vast swathes of job losses in our lower-skilled sectors, such as retail (of which there are surely many more to come), as the answer to the problem. If this is the case, then investment in the training and development of those displaced from other sectors will surely become more commonplace.
Other visa types may also be considered by some care sector businesses, at least to fill some vacancies. The Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme (YFS) is one possible option, which currently allows 18 to 30-year-olds from Australia, Canada, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Hong Kong, the Republic of Korea, and Taiwan to come to the UK for travel and work for up to two years. It is also open to British overseas citizens, British overseas territories citizens, and British national (overseas). One challenge with recruiting in this sector is the turnover of staff, as youth mobility scheme visa holders typically change roles on a regular basis. Care recruiters will need to think about how they can reach out to prospective Tier 5 visa holders who are already here or in their home countries by providing an open, flexible, and attractive role, with potential career advancement opportunities. Many of the career types often relied on by those on the YFS scheme are currently struggling due to COVID-19 here and internationally, including hospitality and bar work. As such, care work may provide the perfect replacement.
We don't yet know the shape of the UK's future immigration policy from 2021 onwards, but we do know that the government is determined to stop low skilled immigration. Businesses in the care sector and recruiters are going to need to be creative in finding new ways to fill the growing number of care vacancies.
How employers can recruit workers from overseas to the UK
It's a shame that you dont have an 'Excellent' star rating on here, as my experience with Reiss Edwards is nothing short of an excellent rating. They handled my application for an Indefinite Leave to remain in April 2014 and did my husband's one very recently including my daughter. Every time i have approached them, they have continued to treat me with courtesy, respect and patience. Amar was indeed a very thorough and professional gentleman. He is very knowledgeable, corporative and engaging. He responded to my emails, calls and enquiries promptly. He was always reassuring. I could not have asked for a better Immigration service. I would recommend them over and over again for anyone looking for an immigration advice. They gave me a free immigration advice when i called them, and the quality of the advice was something other charge thousands for. If you need a particular, name, Amar would be it. He exemplifies, for me, the true, professional gentleman. He is a valuable asset to Reiss Edwards.
I am glad that i instructed Reiss Edwards on my visa matter. It started with a 20 minutes free immigration advice. I met with Amar to discuss my ILR refusal. He gave me a great deal of quality advice and decided to take on my messy case. I had doubts on the merits of my case by he was relatively convinced he could win it. That made me quite secure. To be honest, things did not start as quick as I would have wanted, but they kept on communicating the process and state of things to me.A big thank you to Verusha and Foram. They were also very helpful. Brilliant and informative. Their fee was fair and reasonable, especially if you compare them to other law firms and immigration law firms in London; some of whom even told me that i would not be able to get an indefinte leave to remain in this country. The process was long but was worth it. In the end, a big thank you to Reiss Edwards.
Investing over 2 million pounds is defintely not a routine decision. We had to make sure that the Tier 1 investor immigration lawyers that we'd be picking has to be one of the best within the Tier 1 investor category. We contacted Reiss Edwards and they were able to get us not only the Tier 1 investor visa but also suggested profitable investment portfolios in addition to what we already had in mind.
TI have just had British Citizenship application approved. Prior to making the application, i was not sure which law firm i should hire to facilitate the paperwork. After a few hours of research, i decided to go with Reiss Edwards and i must confess that i wasnt disappointed. The immigration lawyers at Reiss Edwards handled my case well and they really knew what they were doing. They were fully aware of what documents I needed and it was easy for them to tell if my case was going to be easy or not. At the end of the day, I have not received my British citizenship within 3 months. If anyone is looking for a good immigration lawyer to handle thier case, contact Reiss Edwards.
My wife's spouse visa extension application was refused by the Home Office and they gave her 14 days to leave the country. We contacted Reiss Edwards and they said "OK don't worry we will sort this out". They put together the list of documents for me to obtain and they prepared a bundle which was as thick as the printer it came out from.We followed everything they asked us to do and in the end we won our appeal and got our spouse visa. We can't recommend them enough and we have promised ourselves never to make any more UK visa applications without them.
The team of lawyers at Reiss Edwards are very professional and friendly people. Their experience in and around UK immigration law is quite extensive; be sure that you application is in safe and competent hands. My immigration matter was an indefinite leave to remain application based on Tier 1 on a self-employment basis. The immigration lawyers at Reiss Edwards made sure that the application was perfect and ready to be accepted. I got a positive decision and I recommend them highly for anyone who needs a UK immigration help.
I contacted Reiss Edwards to help me with my wife's UK settlement visa. They acted with utmost professionalism throughout the entire application. I spoke with Joe Dinh, he is an immigration solicitor and he is one of the best solicitors out there. He ensured that there was little to no room for error. At some point I thought he was over cautious. He remained calmed and continued to assure us on our immigration matter. Most people in his position would have panicked but he was calmed and continued to assure us. We received out positive outcome very quickly.
I have been using Reiss Edwards for three years now for my family's immigration application. Both for my initial application and extension. They are really affordable. The team of solicitors at this firm are probably one of the most efficient and economical in terms of cost. They offered free advice over the phone and spent good time with us before inviting us for consultation.
Reiss Edwards is a top notch immigration service company. The way they handled our documentation and also the list of documents they sent was efficient and top quality. They helped us professionally throughout the process. We are very happy with the immigration advice we received from the team. We highly recommend them.
I used Reiss Edwards immigration lawyers to assist with my immigration matter and that of my family. It was an EX1 application. They dealt with the matter properly and even when complications were coming up from the Home Office, they helped resolve the issue properly. They are very professional and are very popular in London. I am happy to have worked with them.
This is the only firm that i spoke with that didn't ask for money before listening to me, will be using them again.
I used Reiss Edwards for my Tier 2 visa application and it was successful. The team was ever present and happy to answer my question. The caseworker that dealing with my case went on holiday yet by case did not suffer one bit. Another lawyer stepped and took over the case without any hassle.
My Tier 1 Investor Visa was dealt with quickly and without issue. Would recommend Reiss Edwards as an Immigration law firm in London. Thank you to the team.
530 ReviewsREAD ALL REVIEWS