Last week Squire Sanders' Business Immigration Team held a round-table policy discussion event focused on UK immigration. Speakers included influential figures from both public and private sector organisations, key immigration policy advisors and business lobbyists. The Team also welcomed select guests from a range of UK business sectors who had the opportunity to voice their opinions and concerns on the topical and contentious subject of UK immigration.
Held under Chatham House Rules to encourage free and open discussion, the event proved to be a thought-provoking and lively one (in a good way!) and the Business Immigration Team offer its thanks to all those who attended.
Areas discussed included:
- the controversial cooling-off period;
- caps on Tier 2 migrants;
- ‘go home’ vans and visitor bonds;
- plans to increase civil penalties for employers found to be employing persons illegally; and
- the Labour Party’s proposal to make Tier 2 sponsors create a UK apprenticeship for a local worker for every Tier 2 migrant sponsored.
There was also a more general debate on the impact of current immigration policy on UK businesses and the need for the country to “remain global to remain competitive”.
As was expected, opinions varied but certain concerns prevailed amongst our guests from the front-line of ever-changing immigration rules and policies on a day-to-day level: businesses want a simplified process, with less red tape. Cost is high but Home Office customer service levels remain lacking and are not felt to be commensurate with the level of fees charged.
For comment and opinion on UK immigration, follow the Squire Sanders Employment Law Worldview blog.