The Prime Minister’s U-turn on the £30,000 minimum migrant salary threshold is being welcomed by the hospitalityand events sector. Under his plans for an Australian-style points-based immigration system, Boris Johnson is seeking to scrap the proposed minimum salary put forward by his predecessor, Theresa May.
Last year’s annual HBAA Brexit survey reported that 18.7% of members, comprising hotels, conference venues and agencies, said that Brexit has had a major impact on their ability to recruit staff. Lex Butler, Chair of the HBAA commented: “The industry is working hard to recruit more young people to build careers in this industry but, in the near future, we shall not be able to replace all the migrant workers. Too often the fact that staff are relatively low paid is immediately equated with low-skilled. In this industry many staff with high levels of responsibility and skill would not pass this test.”
However, migrants’ earnings may still be taken into consideration as part of their application to live and work in the UK, alongside criteria including qualifications, occupation, English proficiency, and whether they would be willing to work in particular areas of the country. “Unless this minimum salary barrier is removed,” continued Lex, “the UK will struggle to maintain its position as a world-class destination for business and leisure tourism.”