Last week, the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) criticised as unworkable Boris Johnson’s plans for an Australian-style points system and put forward policies of its own, but public service union Unison has warned that both proposals risk a social care crisis.
In Brexit and Workers’ Rights, President of the IER Professor Keith Ewing and his coauthor Professor Nicola Countouris warn that the Australian points system is “characterised by gross exploitation” of migrants.
But the MAC’s idea of lowering the minimum salary threshold for incoming non-EU migrants from its current rate of £30,000 per year to £25,600 is no better, Unison has warned.
”The immigration system has got to work for social care,” Assistant General Secretary of the union, Christina McAnea, said.
”But reducing the salary threshold by £4,400 won’t allow a single care worker to come to the UK.
”The sector is already in crisis. Placing barriers to recruitment from overseas would cause it huge difficulties,” she warned.
A proposal by the government to offer one-year visas would not be any better, McAnea went on: “By the time care staff have arrived and settled into their jobs, it’d be time for them to leave.”
To become less reliant on a migrant workforce and therefore ensure the stability of social care, the UK needs to improve wages and training to reduce staff turnover and make care jobs more attractive to British citizens, the union said.