The government’s five point plan – what is the impact on health and social care?

12th December 2023

On 4 December 2023, in a bid to get a grip on escalating net migration numbers, the government announced its five-point immigration plan.

The areas of the plan that will impact the health and social care sector include:

  • Requiring care homes in England to be regulated by the Care Quality Commission in order to become a licensed sponsor
  • Abolishing overseas care workers’ ability to bring family dependants with them to the UK
  • Removal of the 20% salary discount for individuals sponsored to undertake roles on the shortage occupation list.

Whilst the plan does also include increasing the minimum salary requirement for skilled worker visas from £26,200 to £38,700 per year, it has been confirmed that the health and social care visa – which is part of the skilled worker route – will be exempt from this change. What we don’t know yet, however, is whether the current minimum salary for the health and social care visa will increase from £20,960.

The government’s suggestion is that with these changes the UK can “continue to bring in the healthcare workers on which our care sector and NHS rely”. However, whether that is the case, or if it will just add more pressure in terms of recruitment challenges to the sector, remains to be seen.

It is expected that the changes will take place in Spring 2024.

If you have any questions regarding these proposed changes and how it may impact you, please do get in touch.

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