UK bans migrant health workers, others, from bringing family members

THE United Kingdom (UK) has announced a robust approach to significantly reduce net migration by banning care workers from bringing family members.

With this move, the UK hopes to radically cut net migration and tackle visa abuse while acknowledging clear evidence of care workers being offered visas under false pretences, often travelling thousands of miles for nonexistent jobs or to be paid far below the minimum wage, thereby exploiting them and undercutting British workers

According to a statement by the UK Home Office on Monday, March 11, the care workers are being restricted from bringing dependants after a disproportionate 120,000 dependants accompanied 100,000 workers on the route last year.  

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The UK also emphasised that care providers in England acting as sponsors will need to register with the Care Quality Commission (CQC), the industry regulator for Health and Social Care, adding that the measure is aimed at combatting worker exploitation and abuse within the sector.

It’s also noted that the decision was part of a broader package being swiftly implemented, resulting in 300,000 eligible individuals unable to come to the UK last year.

Home Secretary, James Cleverly, was quoted to have said, “Care workers make an incredible contribution to our society, taking care of our loved ones in times of need. But we cannot justify inaction in the face of clear abuse, manipulation of our immigration system and unsustainable migration numbers.

“It is neither right nor fair to allow this unacceptable situation to continue. We promised the British people action, and we will not rest until we have delivered on our commitment to bring numbers down substantially. Our plan is robust but fair – protecting British workers while ensuring the very best international talent can work and study here, to add value to our society and grow the economy



    “These changes come into force as the government is set to lay rules in Parliament later this week (14 March) to prevent the continued undercutting of British workers, which includes raising the salary threshold that a skilled worker must meet in order to get a visa and removing the 20% ‘going-rate’ discount for migrant workers in shortage occupations,” he said.

    On his part, Minister for Social Care, Helen Whately, underscored the invaluable contribution of international care workers in looking after our loved ones.

    She, however, stressed that relying solely on international recruitment and increased immigration is not a sustainable solution for our social care needs, noting that these regulations offer a more ethical and enduring approach.

    “We are boosting our homegrown workforce by reforming social care careers. These include the first ever national career path for care workers and a new care qualification. Our reforms will grow the domestic workforce and build on our success over the last year that saw more people working in social care, fewer vacancies and lower staff turnover,” the statement quoted her saying.

    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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