Legislation set for April 2016, forcing non-EU immigrant workers earning under £35,000 after six years of UK residency to leave the country, could potentially affect the recruitment of nurses says medical recruitment firm Inivo Healthcare Talent.
The Home Office said this legislation would reduce the demand for migrant labour; however, it has been widely criticised for ‘playing politics’.
More than 400,000 nurses currently work in England’s NHS alone, but estimates from the Health & Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) show the UK is short of 20,000 nurses, with 75% of NHS trusts missing targets for nurse staffing.
Theresa May said the law was designed to combat those working ‘low paid and low skilled jobs’, but the average Registered Nurse in the UK earns £23,000* per year – a figure that would see them included under the migration cap.
Steve O’Brien from Inivo Healthcare Talent said: “This new legislation is a political, not practical problem. It has the potential to damage the NHS, and is insulting to any existing nurses – carrying the implication that those on entry-level salaries are not fit to live in the UK.
‘’The NHS was founded in the late 40’s, and only saw such huge success due to foreign nurses from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. NHS Trusts and other essential healthcare providers routinely search aboard to plug skill shortages and find excellent nursing candidates. To say that these nurses are now a problem does them a huge disservice. Implementing this immigration cap may make the recruitment problem significantly worse.
‘’Immigrants are vital for the wider economy and public services, and balance is still required. The UK has thrived on values of fairness, diversity and quality, and they are values we need to return to.’’
Inivo Healthcare Talent is a leading provider of healthcare solutions throughout the UK, specialising in the recruitment of nurses and health care workers.
For more information, visit www.inivo.co.uk
*Source – Payscale June 2015