The hospitality industry has welcomed the governments move away from a £30,000 minimum salary threshold for EU migrants coming to work in hospitality post-Brexit.
A letter from home secretary Sajid Javid to the Migration Advisory Committee reportedly urges the dropping of the proposed threshold, instead suggesting that companies would be required to pay “the going rate”.
The plans – which were the subject of a heated Cabinet row before their unveiling – mean some EU migrants will be forced to earn at least £30,000 before they are able to settle in the UK, a move designed to put immigration on the same footing as the rest of the world.
The industry had spoken out repeatedly about the potential impact of such a cap, which had looked to brand hospitality as ‘low-skilled’. Research showed the impact could have excluded 90% of hospitality’s EU workforce, creating a shortfall that would have required up to 900,000 new workers to be found each year.
Kate Nicholls, CEO of UKHospitality, said: “Such a recommendation would be positive and pragmatic while demonstrating that the home secretary has been listening to our concerns about the £30,000 minimum salary threshold. Such a threshold would make many crucial, hard to fill roles in hospitality unavailable to EU workers.
“Any future migration policy must focus on the needs and fortunes of the wider economy, rather than focusing on individuals. Hospitality is a key economic driver but to keep growing will need to employ non-British workers in many different roles. It is vital that we also have a separate route for semi-skilled workers.”