Last reviewed 3 May 2022

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has published a report putting forward 19 recommendations on UK immigration policy, which it says will alleviate challenges facing the social care sector.

The Adult Social Care and Immigration: A Report from the Migration Advisory Committee recommends the Government give care workers a £10.50 an hour minimum wage and remove the Immigration Skills Charge (ISC) for all Health and Care Worker visas.

More broadly, it suggests a full review of the ISC across the entire Skilled Worker route, which was introduced years ago. There have been substantial changes in immigration policy and its objectives since that time.

It also said that workers who spend the full five years working in nursing or care roles on the Health and Care Worker visa should either receive a complete settlement fee waiver or pay a lower fee that is no higher than the unit cost of processing, and that the cost of this recommendation should not be passed on to other visa fees.

The report said the decision to make care workers eligible for the visa should be made permanent and should not have an “automatic sunset date”.

The adult care sector said the report reiterates some very important issues, including issues of underfunding and how this continues to “exacerbate challenges to providers”, high staff vacancy and turnover rates and the “impact of low pay and the care workforce challenges”.

The Voluntary Organisations Disability Group is urging the Government to "embrace" the committee’s recommendations to fully fund a rate of social care pay above the National Living Wage.

Homecare Association Chief Executive Dr Jane Townson said: "Recruiting and retaining home care workers has never been more difficult… Providers have never been more stretched, waiting lists for home care are at an all-time high and the true value of care workers is becoming ever more apparent.”

She added: “The report offers a further wake up call for government.”

The report is available at GOV.UK.