Pay to Play – suggested £1,000 fee comes under fire

Posted on: January 13th, 2017

This week there has been a suggestion that the government is considering plans to charge employers a £1,000-a-year fee for every EU skilled worker they appoint after Brexit. Speaking on this idea, Holly Cudbill, Associate Solicitor in the employment team at Coffin Mew says: 

Recruitment is one of the biggest challenges facing employers currently and is expected to be one of the key HR topics for 2017, so anything that adversely affects a company’s ability to recruit the best candidates will come as blow. This latest announcement on post-Brexit plans shows a fundamental lack of understanding. The vast majority of employers are not looking overseas for skilled workers because they prefer not to use British employees – the British workers either do not exist or are impossible to recruit.

Cudbill argues that unless the skills gap from British workers is bridged, companies will have no choice but to look elsewhere for the top candidates. Therefore, if this proposed levy is introduced it will be just another tax on businesses. 

The Immigration Minister’s statement also overlooks the fact that by far the biggest employer of skilled migrants in this country is the NHS – an organisation that can ill-afford £1,000 a year for each of its 55,000 EU workers.

Holly Cudbill, Associate Solicitor