This is a temporary arrangement that will be in place for 12 months, after which, it will be reviewed. During this time, applicants can apply for either a three or five-year Health and Care Worker visa. The new measure is designed to provide the social care sector with the means to recruit more staff as it deals with the increased pressures that have arisen from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Social care workers will still have to meet the salary threshold of £20,480, which is higher than the government’s minimum wage requirements. The Cavendish Coalition continues to work with the government to enhance domestic strategies to improve recruitment into the vital and rewarding roles available in social care but recognizes the significant complementary support now being offered to allow recruitment of colleagues from outside the UK.
Until now, only senior care workers have been eligible to apply for the Health and Care Worker visa. The decision to extend eligibility to other groups of care workers and to include them on the Shortage Occupation List was made in December 2021 following the Migration Advisory Committee’s (MAC’s) recommendations.
Recruitment to the newly eligible roles will be subject to the ethical international recruitment principles of the Code of Practice.