HR magazine speaks to University of London, Unison, Migrate UK

The Tory leadership race: What will a new prime minister mean for HR?

Column written by Alex Roberts, published July 04, 2019

As employers consider the two final candidates, HR magazine sought to find out what UK employers want from a new prime minister.

Five different perspectives were considered: academia (professor of transformational leadership), low skilled sector (farming), trade union, career management and immigration.

HR magazine approached Migrate’s MD Jonathan Beech for his perspective.

‘It is unlikely that 31 October will end up being the date EU citizens will have to enter the UK, to enjoy all the benefits currently available, but the rhetoric being used about exiting sooner rather than later, indicates that employers have look at their recruitment plans and current EU workforce now’

Read the full article here:

Financial Times quotes Migrate UK’s research

In 2018, Migrate UK commissioned a survey of 1,000 human resource directors. The results indicated 66% were struggling to find sufficient skills since the Brexit referendum. Especially within banking (86%), finance (83%) and IT (79%) sectors.

This survey was referenced in Pilita Clark’s column, published in the Financial Times 1 July 2019, ‘A Brexit storm has already hit, and employers are paying for it’.
Ms Clark’s analysis of job ads on LinkedIn indicates a noticeable drop in the UK’s share of EU job searches. She notes that some experts have said that businesses are being driven to offer ‘lavish pay and perks’ to employees.

Migrate UK’s survey did indicate that higher salaries, bigger bonuses, extra holidays and new company car schemes were among extra incentives being offered.

Ms Clark writes that Migrate UK’s survey results match a more recent polling undertaken by Coleman Parkes research firm for LinkedIn.

Both surveys has been quoted in the Irish World Newspaper (Perks and payrises as UK businesses struggle to stop skilled employees saying goodbye) and the Irish times (Britan faces a drought and it’s Brexit’s fault).

Salary thresholds for future immigration

Salary thresholds for future immigration are to be considered by the Migration Advisory Committee.

The Home Secretary has asked the committee to consider how future salary thresholds should be considered and where there should be exceptions.

Personnel Today and Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development asked Jonathan Beech for his comments:

Salary thresholds should be based on job role rather than an arbitrary limit (currently £30,000). There needs to be a focus on the rate of pay a settled worker receives for a particular job.
The current threshold is very “London-centric”, so the suggestion that rates of pay should be set based on region is very welcome.

“Regional salary variations and a more targeted approach at job rate of pay will certainly help improve the immigration system for businesses struggling to attract and retain skills but must be managed carefully and regularly.”

Jonathan points out that the salary thresholds were just one aspect of the government’s proposed immigration rules. Other considerations include the removal of the resident labour market and a reform of the immigration skills charge. However, so far, Migrate UK has not noticed changes in the way employers are recruiting. “Due to the lack of available skills, most are willing to pay the skills charge”.

Read the full article here:

MAC report recommends additions to the shortage occupation list

Personnel Today, People Management and Recruiter report on MAC (Migration Advisory Committee) recommendations.

Vets, web designers, psychologists and architects are among the occupations that have been proposed as additions. It was noted that the shortage occupation list was last reviewed by the committee in 2013. The labour market has changed significantly since that time.

Migrate’s senior immigration consultant Karen Kaur was approached for her comments. Karen highlighted that the recommendations only apply under the current immigration rules.

“Now the list will cover 9% of the jobs within the market as opposed to 1% as previously seen. In fact, these recommendations should reach further to include engineers and IT professionals to the shortage list, as we have seen an increase in companies in the engineering sector contacting us with growing concern about their future workforce.”

Read the articles here:

ONS net migration figures: increase in EU citizens in UK

OnRec asked Migrate’s MD Jonathan Beech for his comments.

‘An estimated 2.38 million EU nationals and 1.32 million non-EU nationals are now working in Britain, up by 110,000 and 30,000 respectively from the previous quarterly report.’

‘Employers are retaining overseas talent through remuneration packages. Migrate UK research found that since the referendum, 60% of employers are paying up to a total of £100,000 in extra benefits to keep much needed European skills.’

Read the full article here:

Personnel Today – Brexit extension

Jo Faragher from Personnel Today noted business leader’s comments.

Speaking to Migrate’s MD Jonathan Beech, she asked what does the extra six months given to government to negotiate a Brexit deal mean for employers?

“Any staff who would need to acquire settled status should still apply under the EU Settlement Scheme (or for permanent residency) as normal.

Under the current guidance, this suggests they will still be able to apply for a permanent residence document up to 31 December 2020.

However the extension should not be used as an excuse to put things off.

“Employers must avoid complacency and identify and forecast vacancies well in advance. While this could still be seen as yet another stay of execution for EU citizens, Theresa May wants to finalise a deal well before 31st October.”

HR Magazine – reactions to the six month Brexit extension

HR Magazine asked Jonathan Beech for his opinion.

“Employers should continue to keep up to speed with the legal status of EU workers, advised managing director of Migrate UK Jonathan Beech: “On this, we are still advising clients to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme & EEA Permanent Residency status as per normal. Avoiding complacency is key.”

Read the full article here:

Government announces PhD and research roles to be exempt from visa caps

In a move to encourage research and development in the UK, the government has announced PhD-level roles will be eliminated completely from visa caps .

HR magazine sought out Migrate’s MD for comment.

Jonathan Beech believes the announcement should be welcomed by employers.

“It gives employers the opportunity to act much more quickly. Whereas previously you might have to wait weeks it’s possible to be able to use one of your quota and issue a visa within a matter of days.”

Read the whole article here:

UK looks beyond EU – migration from south Asian countries increases 30 per cent

Francis Churchill from People Management has examined
registrations for National Insurance numbers, comparing 2017 figures with 2018. The registrations indicate a decrease in EU workers and an increase in migrants from south Asian countries. People Management interviewed Migrate’s senior immigration consultant Karen Kaur.

“Migrate UK has seen an increase in the number of intra-company transfers from Asia.”

“While the statistics echoed last week’s National Audit Office report showing a drop in EU migration, it was also a positive sign that despite Brexit concerns, the UK was still able to find the skills it needed elsewhere.”

“[Businesses] are trying to make a conscious effort to find somebody within the UK. But if people are not available, and EU nationals are saying they don’t want to stay for these roles, that doesn’t mean we’re not able to pick up the skills from the rest of the world.

“I think we’re finding that although [Brexit has] stopped a lot of EU nationals coming to the UK, it hasn’t stopped the rest of the world.”

Read the full article here: