A majority for social care?

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So, now we know what colour of government we will have for the foreseeable future, how much do we know about their policies? The Conservative manifesto was remarkably thin to match their core message of getting Brexit done. What else can we learn?

Firstly, and not surprisingly, we know the UK will leave the EU on 31 January 2020. How we leave and what the relationship looks like after this is as yet unclear. This is important for business, particularly those that directly trade with Europe. For businesses like social care, the one core issue is the shape of the immigration programme over future years. Interestingly, Royds Withy King suggest that the Migration Advisory Committee may take a leading role over immigration levers and would be able to “advise government about the specific sectors that need support, where the numbers need to go”., much like the Bank of England does over inflation management. If this is the case, social care needs to be quick off the mark and make the point for it to be a special case tying in it’s close relationship with the NHS.

Clause Andersen, RWK Partner, writes, that an Australian-style points-based immigration system has been the Conservatives’ preferred option for a few months now. This could see the government issue three different types of visas:

  1. visas for skilled and exceptional talent would not need a job before entering the UK and would be fast-tracked.
  2. skilled workers who have to have a job offer before entering the UK. According to Mr Johnson, the classic example of this is NHS staff. This second category would have a pathway to residency in the UK.
  3. people who are coming in on a sector-specific basis to do certain low-skilled jobs for a limited amount of time, e.g. seasonal agricultural workers. They would not be offered a pathway to residency.

For current employees, who are EU nationals, the status quo remains unchanged. EU, EEA or Swiss employees and their families need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021. If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the deadline for applying will be 31 December 2020.

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