What is the Impact of the Immigration Reform on Social Care?

Ownacarehome delve further into the detail of the Government’s new plan to limit legal net migration considering the further impact on overseas care workers.

Skilled Worker Visa changes

The headline news that the minimum salary requirement for a Skilled Worker visa is to increase from £26,200 to £38,700 will NOT APPLY to people coming to work under the health and social care worker visa as confirmed by RWK Goodman(for more information read here).

Although perceived as an initial relief for the health and social care sector talking to a care home owner suggests otherwise: “We had five potential new care worker recruits going through the interview process and now three have changed their minds instead looking at Australia as another route because they do not want to be apart from their families.”  Asked what their main concern is they “have all mentioned the uncertainty about the new immigration process, and as an employer we have greater uncertainty since it is not clear whether it is March or April when the new changes will apply.”  The care home owner proceeded to say that: “In addition due to a clerical error by the Visa authorities our application for an employer sponsor licence could now take up to 18 weeks to get a response.”

RWK Goodman confirmed that dependants of care workers will not be permitted to come to the UK which is permitted under the current rules.

Dependents of students will also be impacted by the new immigration rules next year, except for migrants attending Higher Education courses, albeit this is also under review.

When asked what are the alternatives when recruiting care workers it became clear that due to competitive factors recruiting locally is not an easy option, leaving the costly option of Agency at a challenging time of the year with Winter pressures, increasing blocked beds in hospitals and more people needing care in the community.  The care home owner commented that even getting “Christmas cover is a challenge.”

What are your Recruitment options for your care home?

In addition to the social media platforms other areas to consider can include: 

• Local community outreach with presentations at local colleges and universities

• Considering a referral bonus structure for the whole care home team to participate in

• Create an internal channel to announce the roles that are needed to be covered

• Having a non biased employee referral strategy to add strength to a care home’s positive culture and team well-being

• Create a team champion to support the recruitment process and ensure all staff enquiries are followed up promptly 

• Consult with a specialised recruiter like Seed Recruitment 

• Spread good news PR via your care home’s marketing strategy 

• Consider creating a video of your team showing the ‘real carer’ and how special it is to work in the care homeOffering flexible working shifts fits in with modern day living and can be a valuable benefit to the care team

  • Five on a Bike’s  specialist video production team have helped care home providers reach out to potential new staff with their expertly produced short clip videos across the UK

In conclusion Professor Martin Green OBE summed up the new immigration policy:

“With dependents being limited by the new changes, the government is making it harder for care providers to recruit foreign workers,” saying that improvements in “pay and conditions” are needed “to drive domestic recruitment.”

With some Councils already struggling exacerbated by Winter pressures it is yet unknown how Local Authorities will address the true cost of care in 2024.

Author Julie Hopkins

For care home business solutions on how Ownacarehome partners can support you visit here