Immigration changes will make it harder for hospitality and retail sectors to recruit staff

The Home Secretary has announced changes to the immigration system following record-high immigration numbers. As part of the changes, around 300,000 people who came to the UK last year would now not be able to come.

The changes to the system include:

  • The minimum salary for a skilled worker visa will rise to £38,700.
  • The “Shortage Occupation List” is being reformed with fewer sectors included.
  • Care workers can no longer bring their dependants with them.

Since the pandemic, many businesses in the hospitality sector have struggled to recruit staff. They are forced to reduce their opening hours, despite there being a strong demand from customers, as there aren’t enough staff to stay open. Our members are telling us that current staffing shortages are damaging business and the post-pandemic recovery.

Commenting on the announcement, Ros Morgan, Chief Executive of Heart of London Business Alliance, said:

“Businesses in central London have been struggling with staffing shortages for many years, often forced to restrict operating hours and, therefore, growth. Yesterday’s further tightening of the immigration system will see businesses, particularly in hospitality and retail, struggle even further.
It will slam the brakes on the ability of these companies to thrive and contribute to the Government’s pledge to grow the economy.
Immigration policy should be more focused on the sectors that need it most. At a time when our high streets are crying out for support, we urge the Government and Migration Advisory Committee to include these sectors in future shortage occupation lists.”