Proposed immigration policies continue to pose problems for employers

HR magazine’s article ‘General Election: Immigration policies pose challenges for employers’ published 15 November. Interviewed by Rachel Muller-Heyndyk, Karen Kaur was asked what employers need to do if they want to retain a diverse workforce.

“Employers should prepare for an Australian-style points-based system.

The Conservative party continues to move ahead with their ‘points-based’ immigration system which focuses on an individual’s skills and English language proficiency.

As a result, planning is key. Where possible employers should obtain sponsorship for any future forecasting from non-EU countries, and secure their EU nationals in the UK before 1 January 2021.”

Karen added that Labour’s delay in outlining a coherent immigration policy is unhelpful to employers. “Labour has not announced its policy moving forward, which does not assist employers with future forecasting.”

Migrate UK’s advice remains the same, apply for pre-settled and settled status or, should an employee qualify, British Nationality, and by 31 December 2020 at the latest.

Read the whole article here:

Karen Kaur writes for HR magazine – EU nationals must assume ‘worst case scenario’ post Super Saturday

HR magazine invited Karen Kaur to write for this week’s edition. After MPs voted to withhold approval on the Brexit deal, what advice does Migrate UK’s Senior Immigration Consultant have for EU nationals wanting to remain in the UK after 31 October?

Read the article here:

Government commits to end free movement of workers from the EU. Recruiter magazine speaks to Karen Kaur

Boris Johnson’s government has commited to end free movement of workers from the EU. Employers urged to act fast on lower-skilled EU workers.

Speaking to Recruiter after the Queen’s speech at the state opening of parliament, Karendeep Kaur, senior immigration consultant at Migrate UK, said: “If you have forecast that you need X number of individuals and they might be from Europe, get them into the UK prior to 1 November.”

Kaur explained that if the UK does leave the EU on 31 October without a deal, employers that wait any longer risk losing lower-skilled staff. “In a no-deal scenario, anybody entering the UK from 1 November, and wishing to work will need to apply for the new Euro Temporary Leave to Remain (Euro TLR) visa,” she said.

However, she warned that this temporary leave to remain is valid only for three years and cannot be extended, leaving workers who wish to continue to remain in the UK subject to the immigration rules at the time – which under the government’s plans, is likely to be a Australian-style, points-based system. Immigration lawyers differ on when exactly such a system will be put in place, with some saying “the beginning of 2021”, and others “well into 2021”.  

Given that the proposed current minimum salary threshold for the proposed points-based system is £30,000 – although this may come down – “those lower-skilled workers will not qualify under any other work status, and will therefore be less likely to be able to stay on another visa”, said Kaur. Anyone who does not qualify for another type of visa will then be considered an ‘over-stayer’ by the Home Office and risks being deported.

Read the whole article here:

Points-based migration system – to encourage migrants to work outside of London?

Seeking opinions after the Queen’s speech at the state opening of parliament, Francis Churchill from People Management magazine spoke to Karen Kaur.

The senior immigration consultant at Migrate UK is concerned that an Australian-style system threatened to sideline lower-skilled migrants, but believes that for EU citizens, the decision of a deal or no-deal Brexit is still at the forefront of their status, prior to any implementation of an Australian points-based system.

“Until we have clarification, EU nationals must assume a worst-case scenario and protect themselves.”

Read the whole article here:’could+favour+those+choosing+to+work+outside+London’&utm_campaign=7295441&utm_term=4640212

Newly announced points based immigration system

In a speech at the Conservative Party’s annual conference on the 3rd of October, the Home Secretary announced the government will introduce a points-based immigration system similar to Australia, once Britain leave the EU.

People Management magazine contacted Karen Kaur for her comments.

‘The Home Secretary’s approach would allow for the UK government to more directly control it’s borders, as the visa would be granted to the skilled migrant, rather than allocated to an employer.’

However Karen believes that this approach focusses on the brightest and best talent, so risks sidelining lower skilled migrants whose industries are experiencing skills shortages.

Read the full article here:

CIPD survey – employers unaware of post-Brexit visa rules

People Management magazine contacted Karen Kaur for her response to the CIPD report. This report has found that most employers in the UK are unaware of proposed changes to immigration rules that could make it more difficult to source lower-skilled workers after Brexit.

The CIPD report surveyed 2,182 employers, and found 58 per cent of businesses had no knowledge of the government’s plans to introduce a new skills-based migration system after the UK leaves the EU, which were outlined in a 170-page whitepaper published in December 2018.

The survey found 56 per cent of employers also said they didn’t have enough information to start making decisions about their post-Brexit recruitment strategy, with only a quarter (27 per cent) happy to make decisions based on the existing information.

Karen Kaur believes it was understandable that employers were not looking at the future, instead have a ‘right here, right now’ mentality. “If employers don’t know what’s happening now, then they aren’t going to be planning for the future,” she said.

“A lot of the CIPD report talks about retaining the talent we have already got, and EU employees can apply for settled status so they can potentially avoid new immigration rules in the future. But most are not looking that far ahead.”

Read the full article here:

International students permitted to stay after graduation

After the announcement that the government will allow international students to stay in the UK for two years after graduation to find a job,
Online magazine Recruiter contacted Migrate UK for their comments.

Karendeep Kaur, Migrate’s senior immigration consultant, thinks that while the proposal is welcome news for recruiters and international students, some areas of the proposal still require clarification.

She asks, would this two-year, post study work style visa, be automatically added to a student’s visa from 2020, as with the original proposed plans from MAC [Migration Advisory Committee] from 2021 or will students need to apply for these two years upon completion of their course?

It has been suggested that there will be no cap on the numbers who can apply (unlike the current quota for restricted certificates of sponsorship), allowing the student to switch in country to a work visa. In addition, there has been no indication as to whether this is a ‘free for all’ or whether it will be limited to science, technology, engineering or mathematics degrees.

Read the full article here:

EU citizens moving to the UK after a no-deal Brexit will be able to access temporary immigration status

Home secretary Priti Patel has confirmed that EU citizens will be able to access temporary immigration status until the new skills based immigration system comes into force at the start of 2021.

People Management asked Karen Kaur for her comments.

‘EU nationals are still encouraged to apply for settled or pre-settled status in the UK before 31 October. Employers will need to plan and ensure that any EU workers entering the UK prior to 31 October apply for their pre-settlement status to avoid the Euro temporary leave to remain status which is only valid for three years and thereafter UK immigration rules will apply.’

Read the full article here:

Home Office consider ending freedom of movement

The Home Office’s announcement that the government is reconsidering allowing a transition period for EU nationals has HR professionals perturbed.

Upon this announcement, People Management magazine’s Elizabeth Howlett spoke to Migrate UK and Karen Kaur had this to say:

“Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s unwillingness to phase out the current immigration rules will not allow EU nationals currently in the UK, or those looking to enter before 2021, to organise their affairs. 

Although reassurances had been made that the rights of EU nationals currently living in the UK would be protected and that they would be able to remain under settled status, this would still depend on what new immigration laws come into force.

New rules have not been put in place, and the threat to end free movement is a mere 72 days away. This only adds to the uncertainty of EU nationals currently in the UK and employers across the country, who until yesterday had been planning for a December 2020 deadline.”

Read the full article here

More than one million EU citizens granted settled or pre-settled status

It has been four months since EU citizens could apply for settled or pre-settled status. People Management magazine consider how successful this initiative has been.

Elizabeth Howlett, of People Management magazine, asked Karen Kaur for her comments.

“The process has proved to be simple, straightforward with an average time of 30 mins to complete the online application and uploading of documents.

Decisions were being provided within 24 hours, sometimes sooner, and despite initial concerns that the system would crash under the number of applications, it was so far proving to be stable.

There is no excuse not to apply, as the process is proving to be efficient and beginning to provide clarity to those in need of this and to those who have played a part in contributing to the UK.

The government’s provided toolkit for employers meant there was no excuse for why HR departments shouldn’t be assisting their workforce make their settled status applications.

If the workforce needs reassurance, this is a way to show that an employee’s best interests are at the heart of the organisation.”

Read People Magazine’s article, click here

HR Review also quotes Karen Kaur