Migration Advisory Committee Report on Tier 2 Salary Thresholds

The Migration Advisory Committee (“MAC”) has published its report on salary thresholds for Tier 2 sponsorship.

In its report, “Review of Tier 2: Analysis of Salary Thresholds”, the MAC sets out its preference for using occupation-specific salary thresholds but does not make recommendations on minimum salary thresholds for individual roles. The report concludes that there is a good case for increasing the overall minimum threshold for Tier 2 (General), which currently stands at £20,800, because this figure was calculated in 2009 when the skill requirement for migrant workers was lower than it is now.

The analysis finds little evidence to suggest there is wide spread undercutting of UK resident workers by Tier 2 migrants occurring under the current salary thresholds, though this finding is subject to further work being undertaken as part of the wider review of Tier 2 that will conclude at the beginning of 2016. The MAC will also continue to assess evidence on variations in regional pay but the committee is content that, on the basis of the information received so far, there are no major, regional variations requiring urgent attention.

The report also suggests that further work is needed to consider the impact of the Tier 2 (General) monthly limit being reached in June and July, particularly given that application for Certificates of Sponsorship (COS) for those lower paying occupations not on the shortage occupation list are at greater list of being refused.

We await the results of the wide-ranging Tier 2 Review (also known as “Big MAC”) that is currently in the Call for Evidence stage and will report in January.