Ethics of the Immigration Salary List
Ethics of the Immigration Salary List

Kadmos Immigration Lawyers London

Immigration Salary List replaces Shortage Occupation List

Immigration Salary List replaces Shortage Occupation List

Ethics of the new Immigration Salary List

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, May 10, 2024 / — On 4 April 2024 Appendix Shortage Occupation List was removed from the Immigration Rules and replaced with the Appendix Immigration Salary List. This change did not cause much splash being contemporaneous with wider changes affecting family immigration and sponsorship of skilled workers.

Historically, Shortage Occupation List was part of the Immigration Rules defining occupations recognised as being in shortage in the UK. Employers seeking to sponsor a non-British worker in a position on the Shortage Occupation List did not have to show that they met the resident labour market test – it was accepted that these specialists were hard to find in the UK and hiring workers from outside the UK was justified by default.

Employers were also free to pay these workers 20% below the going rate for the job – a provision which facilitated hire for small businesses and start-ups on a shoe-string budget.

In 2020, genuine vacancy test replaced the resident labour market test requirement. Employers no longer had to meet the formal requirements to advertise the position for a requisite period of time, as long as they could demonstrate that the position was genuine and the selected candidate was a reasonable match for the job.

Since genuine vacancy test applied to all jobs irrespective of shortages of specialists, the Shortage Occupation List served as a list where lower salary thresholds applied and also as a list of occupations in which asylum seekers could be engaged if their claim for asylum had not been decided for 12 months.

In April 2024 the Shortage Occupation List was removed from the Immigration Rules and was replaced by the Immigration Salary List. The purpose of this list was not to cover the shortages of specialists but to list professions where a skilled worker could be paid at a reduced rate. Professions, such as engineers, IT specialists, programmers and web design and development professionals are no longer on the list.

Coincidental with the changes to the rules related to the Skilled Worker route and the increase of the minimum pay threshold for skilled workers, the Immigration Salary List is not a welcome news for employers.

However, the most chagrined group affected by the Immigration Salary List are asylum seekers who have been waiting for a decision on their claim for over a year.

To begin with, it is not clear why a claim for asylum should remain pending for more than 12 months. Since spurious and manifestly unfounded claims are sieved through at the very early stages of the application process, the remaining asylum seekers are those who fled their countries in fear of serious harm, to the extent that they opted for the harsh and unenviable conditions offered to asylum seekers n the UK. Denying them the right to work is ethically questionable. And so is restricting their right to work in occupations listed in the Immigration Salary List.

In essence, the Immigration Salary List restricts the jobs that can be taken by asylum seekers to the construction industry. Unless they are musicians and can fill a leader position in an internationally recognised UK orchestra, or dancers who meet the standard required by internationally recognised UK ballet or contemporary dance companies, the jobs on offer are rather limited: stonemasons, bricklayers, roofers, carpenters and joiners and construction traders not specified in other occupational codes.

With the flow of funds for the scandalous Rwanda scheme it is not surprising that more and more asylum seekers remain in limbo for longer and longer periods of time with cases piled up in the bureaucratic depositories of the Home Office for years and years.

If the Immigration Salary List is another measure to deter unwelcome asylum seekers from the UK, its ethics is questionable, even if it’s likely to pass unnoticed foiled against deportations to Rwanda.

Helena Sheizon
Kadmos Consultants
+44 20 8930 9503
email us here

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