Increases to the minimum salary for Skilled Worker visa holders

When employers recruit from overseas, they need to ensure they are paying their sponsored workers a salary at or above the minimum rate set by the Home Office and the going rate for the role.

The minimum rate is currently £25,600 with reductions available which can bring the required salary rate down to £20,480. In a recent announcement, the Migration Advisory Committee (‘MAC’) have indicated we will see an increase to this minimum. It is important for any business which is proposing to sponsor migrant workers to be aware of these changes, to be able to plan effectively.It is expected that minimum salary rates for Skilled Workers will increase from:

  1. £25,600 to £26,200 (in relation to the general salary threshold), and
  2. £20,480 to £20,960 (in relation to the lower salary threshold)

These changes are expected in the Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules, subject to Parliamentary approval, which should be published on 9 March 2023.

The MAC provides independent advice to the Government on the Points Based Immigration system, amongst other matters. It has been asked to review the shortage occupation list to consider which roles should continue to be included, which should be removed and which, if any, should be added. The MAC has delivered a call for evidence to request recommendations and experiences from employers and stakeholders on the availability of labour from the resident labour force in the UK, and on roles which are in shortage. They will consider which occupations, if any, should be added to the shortage occupation list, at:

  • RQF6 or above (degree level)
  • RQF3-5 (school leaver/A-level)
  • RQF1-2 in exceptional circumstances (below A-level)

When a role is on the shortage occupation list, it currently carries a lower minimum salary threshold. The MAC has been asked to comment on minimum salary requirements for roles on the shortage occupation list. There have been concerns that the salary discount applied to roles on the shortage occupation list acts to drive down wages for overseas workers and for the resident population. MAC has indicated that they will recommend that the salary threshold discount, which currently provides a discount of 20% of the going rate for occupation codes, will be abolished.

If you require any further information on how these changes could affect your business, or wish to discuss any immigration matter, then please contact a member of our Immigration Team who will be happy to assist.

The content of this page is a summary of the law in force at the date of publication and is not exhaustive, nor does it contain definitive advice. Specialist legal advice should be sought in relation to any queries that may arise.

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