The Immigration Skills Charge will come into effect in April
2017 at a rate of £1, 000 per employee per year. Small companies, charitable organisations
and universities will pay a reduced rate of £364.
The charge will be levied on employers that take on skilled staff from outside the European Union.
In March, the government said it was going ahead with proposals presented last autumn that aimed at reducing dependence on migrant workers and encouraging “British businesses to recruit and train UK employees.” The levy is also meant to fund the upgrading of skills of local workers.
Andrew Smith, Labour MP for Oxford East, recently asked the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to confirm whether NHS nurses would be included in the scheme.
Skills Minister Nick Boles confirmed that it would. In a written reply to parliament, he said: “The Immigration Skills Charge will be paid by UK employers recruiting skilled migrant labour from outside the European Economic Area. This includes employers of nurses. As the independent Migration Advisory Committee stated in their January 2016 report on tier 2, public sector organisations are employers like any other and should be incentivised to consider the UK labour market first, before recruiting outside Europe.”
The new charge has been supported by the independent Migration Advisory Committee.
Last autumn, the Royal College of Nursing raised questions about the levy saying it was not clear how a charge to fund additional apprenticeships in the health sector could address the shortfall in highly skilled health professionals . “This must be addressed through better workforce planning and an increase in nurse training places. “
Image Credit: UK Government