A new migrant salary policy, due to come into effect in 2016, requires that non-EU migrant workers leave the UK after six years if they are not earning £35,000 or more yearly. This is due to an effort by the government to control net migration.
These efforts, however, have been criticised as putting thousands of foreign workers in the National Health Service at risk of being forced to return home. It is pointed out that this will waste both time and money to recruit new nurses.
Via BBC, the Royal College of Nursing general secretary Peter Carter warns that this policy will cause chaos within the NHS and other care services. Presently, there is more than 400,000 nurses working in the NHS, 10% of which are non-EU migrants. Carter explains that most nurses do not make £35,000, and in fact have salaries closer to £21,000 and £28,000 a year. This would almost automatically mean that many were susceptible to the negative effects of the new law, and in danger of being removed from their jobs.
There is “a major shortage of nurses” Carter adds, which have led many NHS trusts to spend tens of millions recruiting nurses from overseas. The new policy could waste an estimated £40 million pounds due to the new recruitment costs of trying to replace the lost nurses.
The government and David Cameron have said they do not think the new immigration rules will lead to a shortage in nurses due to the local training programs the UK supports. They aim to fill whatever gaps there might be with locally trained nurses, aiming to reduce the demand for migrant labour.
Carter strongly disagrees, saying the new laws will have a huge impact on the functionality of the healthy service to carry on as it has.