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What Could the General Election Mean for Your Recruitment Plans?

With just over a week until the country goes to the polls, we are looking at how the main parties’ stance on immigration could impact UK businesses and their recruitment plans.

If you are a business looking to hire overseas workers then find out how key policies from the Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats could potentially influence your employment strategies in the future.

Call us on +44 (0)333 414 9244 for advice and support in recruiting migrant workers. We’re here to help you in person, via telephone or live chat.

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Conservatives Plan “Legal Cap”

Following the recent rises in the Skilled Worker minimum salary, the Conservatives plan to continue with similar initiatives in a bid to reduce net migration.

Employers who are reliant on overseas workers could face extra challenges with the introduction of a legal cap to limit the number of Family and Work Visas issued each year.

The exact number would be set by MPs and there could be further monthly caps for certain industries and regions based on current levels of labour shortages.

Rishi Sunak explained: “We have taken bold action to cut the number of people coming to this country. The plan is working but migration levels are still too high, so we are going further.

The Conservatives are the only party that is willing take the bold action needed to cut immigration figures.”

If you have any questions about recruiting from overseas, our team is happy to assist.

“Flexible Merit-based System” Supported by the Lib Dems

The Liberal Democrats claim their policies will benefit employers within the NHS and care sector when recruiting from overseas. In particular, the removal of the Immigration Skills charge, an increase in care sector wages and allowing care workers to bring dependents could help to attract qualified and experienced staff to the UK and fill key vacancies.

Ed Davey’s party is also planning an overhaul of the work visa system with a switch to a flexible merit-based approach and the scrapping of the salary thresholds for skilled workers.

The party’s manifesto refers to the creation of “low-cost, fast-tracked work visas” to tackle worker shortages in “key economic sectors”. This could mean employers within certain industries may find recruiting overseas labour straightforward, while other sectors could find it more challenging.

If you are a business who currently employs staff via the Youth Mobility Scheme, then you may welcome the Lib Dem plans to remove visa fees for this route, as well as extend the issued visa length to three years and raise the qualifying age limit to 35 for all applicants.

Labour Aim to Tackle UK Skill Gap

Labour’s focus appears to centre around upskilling UK-based workers to help UK businesses reduce their reliance on migrant labour without impacting operations. In particular, there will be a focus on the health and social care, construction, engineering and IT sectors to help encourage companies to recruit already settled workers.

Part of this initiative would involve a more joined-up approach with the Migration Advisory Committee and the Industrial Strategy Council and Skills England,

However, many business leaders are unclear how long it would take to bridge existing skill gaps and what this would mean for those companies in industries that depend on overseas workers.

Graham Watts, chief executive of the Construction Industry Council, speaking to the BBC, explained the Labour plans could “stifle economic growth” if the restrictions are put in place too soon.

Another important potential policy suggested by Labour is tougher restrictions for those employers who fail to follow UK employment laws.

Businesses who do not comply with legal requirements such as wage rates could be banned from hiring non-nationals, while Sponsor Licences could be withdrawn for those who do not meet targets for upskilling UK workers. This approach could further increase the importance of all firms complying with UK employment and immigration law.

We offer comprehensive mock audits to help ensure your recruitment and HR policies follow UK immigration law. Call us to find out more about this service.

How IAS Can Help Your Business

Whatever happens on July 4th, IAS are here to help with all your business immigration needs and ensure you are well-placed to benefit from the very best workers from around the world.

Our knowledgeable team can provide the latest information on the range of visas available to potential staff looking to work in the UK.

Reach out to our experienced team for advice on UK law, compliance and any other immigration issues you are facing on +44 (0)333 414 9244 or use our live chat service.

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