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Rose Carey and Katherine Dennis write an opinion piece for The Grocer on skilled worker visa changes and the impact on the food and drink industry

Rose Carey, Partner and Head of Immigration, and Katherine Dennis, Knowledge Development Lawyer, write an op-ed for The Grocer on skilled worker visa changes and the impact on the food and drink industry. See a snippet of the piece below:

As part of the government’s plan to reduce levels of net migration, changes to the Skilled Worker visa route came into force on 4 April. At the same time, the government scrapped the Shortage Occupation List, which allowed employers to sponsor migrant workers in certain roles at a discounted rate and replaced it with a much shorter Immigration Salary List without such discounts.

Together with February’s increase to the Immigration Health Surcharge and expensive visa application fees, the cost of hiring an overseas worker is now extremely high. 

These changes may make it more difficult for small businesses, start-ups and independent retailers within the food and drink industry to establish themselves in the UK, stifling the innovation and entrepreneurship that the government is keen to encourage.

With an election later this year, one hopes that the new government will engage with the sector to truly understand how to implement a visa system that is fit for purpose and encourages growth. In the meantime, UK businesses will need to plan ahead and consider their recruitment options.

Read the full piece in The Grocer here.

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