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Lincolnshire Care Association chairman Says New immigration rules unreasonable

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New Immigration Rules: The Impact on Migrant Workers in Lincolnshire

Care homes in Lincolnshire including in Grimsby, Boston, Skegness, and Lincoln could be heavily affected with the new immigration rules.

 

The recent announcement of new immigration rules by the UK government has sparked controversy and debate.

The chairman of the Lincolnshire Care Association, Melanie Weatherley, has expressed her concerns about the unfairness of these policies, particularly in relation to migrant workers in the care sector.

One of the key changes in the new immigration rules is the prevention of incoming workers from bringing their families with them.

Melanie Weatherley highlights the unfairness of asking overseas workers to leave their families behind in order to come and work in the UK.

She argues that these individuals are already sacrificing their lives on the other side of the world to provide care for older people and those with learning disabilities.

Asking them to do so without the support of their families is deemed unreasonable, regardless of the impact on the country’s infrastructure.

The Lincolnshire Care Association, a not-for-profit organization supporting adult care providers, recognizes the significance of international recruits within the care workforce.

They appreciate the government’s recognition of this importance but believe that the new measure is misguided. The association emphasizes that asking workers to choose between caring for their own families and caring for vulnerable adults is an impossible decision that no one should have to make.

The new immigration rules are part of a five-point plan unveiled by Home Secretary James Cleverley. The plan aims to reduce net migration and includes measures such as preventing foreign social care workers from bringing their partners and family members to the UK.

The minimum salary requirement for skilled workers from overseas will also see a significant increase to £38,700, excluding NHS and social care staff. The income threshold for family visas will rise to the same amount, with some exceptionality clauses in place.

The need for stricter immigration measures stems from the record net migration figures seen in recent years.

Since the UK’s departure from the EU in January 2020, immigration has skyrocketed, particularly from non-EU countries.

The health and social care sector have heavily relied on foreign workers to fill vacancies, exacerbating the shortage of staff. The government’s promise to bring net migration below previous levels has not been fulfilled, leading to the implementation of more robust actions to control immigration.

The focus of the new immigration rules is expected to have a significant impact on the social care sector.

Banning dependents from accompanying workers may deter individuals from coming to work in the UK. Unison, the UK’s largest care workers’ union, warns that the sector could collapse without foreign workers.

Gavin Edwards, the head of social care, states that migrant workers are vital in propping up a care system that lacks proper funding. He believes that the government should prioritize delivering the necessary funding and reforms to support the care sector instead of targeting migrant workers.

The Health Foundation describes the situation of the social care workforce as “dire.” Job vacancies in England are left unfilled, and the recruitment of 70,000 staff from abroad has been allowed to address the shortage.

Brexit has contributed to the rise in workforce shortages, and the new immigration rules may exacerbate the problem.

The government reassures that social care vacancies can still be filled, as these jobs were previously oversubscribed. However, concerns remain about the long-term sustainability of the sector without a comprehensive solution to staffing shortages.

Unison’s general secretary, Christina McAnea, argues that migrant workers were encouraged to come to the UK due to the critical shortage of staff in both the health and social care sectors.

Instead of implementing restrictive immigration measures, she suggests that the government should focus on delivering the necessary funding and reforms to strengthen the care sector.

By adequately funding care and raising wages, the sector becomes more attractive to both domestic and international workers. Without migrant workers, the care sector may face collapse, putting essential services at risk.

The government acknowledges that there is more work to be done regarding immigration policies and the social care sector.

They claim to have the ability to flex their system and have responded to pressures faced, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The government aims to address the high numbers of migration and potential abuses in the system through the new measures. However, critics argue that comprehensive funding and reform in the care sector are necessary to solve the staffing shortage issue.

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