TUC response to MAC report on EEA migration
The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) report recommendations endorsed several TUC policies on migration, in particular calling for:
- The cap for non-EU skilled workers (Tier 2 in the government Points Based System) to be abolished
- Pay to be increased in the care sector to address labour shortages
- The government to look into mechanisms to increase pay in the agriculture sector to address labour shortages
- No regional variations in the immigration policy
However the TUC has concerns about other elements of the report, notably the fact it:
- Doesn't engage with the context of Brexit negotiations
- Advocates a more restrictive migration policy that prioritises 'high skill' migration that could increase risk of workers in 'low skill' jobs becoming undocumented and exploited
- Fails to recommend measures to prevent exploitation of migrant workers
- Calls for salary thresholds for all migrants in Tier 2. This would make it more difficult to fill roles that are currently facing shortages
- Calls for retention of the Immigration Skills Charge. While we believe there should be more employer investment in skills, having a special levy on recruitment of migrants risks increasing the general stigma around migration.
The TUC will continue to engage with the MAC and government to address concerns about the report and press for a migration policy that promotes equal treatment and rights for all workers, combined with significantly increased investment in skills training and public services.