Migrants' rights in the spotlight

Brexit is thought to be one of the reasons why the Tier 2 (General) restricted Certificate of Sponsorship cap has been reached. However, we may at last be seeing some reprieve from this. The Home Office has made changes to the Tier 2 (General) restricted cap allocation by removing doctors and nurses. This will mean more Certificates of Sponsorship will be available for other applicants. Initially the excess is likely to be absorbed by those who unsuccessfully applied over the previous few months. However, after that, a decrease in the salary requirement to secure a restricted Certificate of Sponsorship will be welcome news to specific industry sectors.
A sector that may benefit is the fashion industry, since people in low-paid positions may now be able to secure a restricted Certificate of Sponsorship in order to be able to make a visa application. Another boost for this industry is the expansion of the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa route. Exceptionally talented individuals in the fashion industry will now be able to apply for an endorsement from Arts Council England to support their visa application. Applications can be made from those established in this field, or those who demonstrate potential to become an internationally recognised expert in the field. The British Fashion Council will conduct a final assessment of the quality of the applicant.
So, while matters seem to be moving in the right direction for some industries, for others matters are not so rosy. Fruit growers have struggled to recruit pickers, leading to their stock going to ruin. They have traditionally relied on foreign workers coming to the UK to pick crops such as strawberries and raspberries. It is feared the industry may collapse following Brexit unless the government designs an immigration system to allow unskilled foreign workers into the country.
All eyes are on the government to see how Brexit negotiations transpire. However, the new Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, has today declared that EU citizens will not have any automatic right to work in the UK after the Brexit transition period. The government has yet to announce the details of the immigration system that such EU workers will be subject to. It is likely, though, that highly-skilled workers from the EU will be caught by the same constraints and scientists and doctors, for example, will not have an automatic right to come and work in the UK.

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Tom Fancett

About Tom Fancett

Tom has experience acting for both employers and employees, advising on the full spectrum of contentious and non-contentious matters. His experience includes advising on large commercial transactions, including redundancy and TUPE issues; undertaking buy side and sell side due diligence exercises into the employment aspects for multiple commercial transactions; coordinating multijurisdictional projects; defending Employment Tribunal claims in relation to unfair dismissal, disability and sex discrimination and whistleblowing; advising on day-to-day HR and disciplinary issues; drafting and negotiating settlement and service agreements; and reviewing company handbooks and template employment contracts.

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