Hospitality concerned over skilled worker salary threshold increase

The Staff Canteen

Hospitality has expressed strong concerns over the government's decision to raise the minimum salary required for skilled worker visas.

New legislation would see the threshold increase by nearly 50%, rising from just over £26,000 to £38,700.

Voicing concerns around the decision, UKHospitality has estimated that almost 95% of the 8,500 hospitality visas issued to skilled chefs and managers in the previous year would no longer meet the eligibility criteria.

Speaking out against the decision, Kate Nicholls, CEO of UKHospitality, said: "The Government seem to be running out of answers to fix the UK’s long-running labour market shortages. These changes will further shrink the talent pool that the entire economy will be recruiting from, and only worsen the shortages hospitality businesses are facing."

Discussing how the new approach could impact hospitality, Kate explained: "Around three-quarters of hospitality’s workforce is filled from within the UK but international talent has always been attracted to work in the UK, due to our pedigree for hospitality and developing careers. These critical workers also bring with them a wealth of experience and skills to help further enhance our world-leading hospitality sector."

"There were 8,500 hospitality visas issued last year, which helped bring in talented chefs and managers of the future. Around 95% of those would no longer be eligible under these plans, despite being offered competitive salaries," she added.

Home Secretary James Cleverly defended the move in the House of Commons, stating that the Government aims to reduce net migration to the UK, which reached a record 745,000 in 2022.

The new legislation comes as part of a broader immigration crackdown by the Government to reduce the number of new arrivals entering the UK.

Government confirmed that health and social care visas will be exempt from the increased salary threshold, but care workers will no longer be able to bring their dependants over to the UK.

It estimates that the proposed increase to the salary threshold for skilled worker visas will mean more than 300,000 people who came to the UK last year will now no longer be able to.

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 6th December 2023

Hospitality concerned over skilled worker salary threshold increase