Author: Kelly Whiter
Kelly Whiter, Partner, Fladgate LLP (firstname.lastname@example.org)
In summary, perhaps surprisingly, the MAC has concluded that no preferential treatment should be given to EEA workers unless this is being considered as part of a trade agreement. They have also recommended that the system should be easier for higher-skilled workers and more restrictive for lower-skilled workers.
It is noted that the report does not address the position for self-employed EEA nationals except to suggest that the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) and Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) routes should be “better evaluated” to understand how this may apply to EEA migrants.
The report is likely to provide unwelcome reading for businesses that rely heavily on lower skilled labour, particularly from the EU, including industries such as construction, haulage and hospitality.
On the other hand, whilst there will be an additional administrative burden involved for employers if EEA nationals are required to obtain visas in order to work in the UK, for businesses employing medium to high skilled workers, the recommendations to abolish the Tier 2 cap, abolish or increase the number of exemptions under the RLMT and the reduction of the skills level from RQF 6 to RQF 3 will likely be welcomed.
It is now for the Government to consider the recommendations of the report and how these might work in practice. Whilst in the past they have typically accepted the MAC’s recommendations, it is important to remember that they are not bound to accept them. We will therefore need to wait and see which recommendations are ultimately implemented.
In total the MAC made 14 recommendations, taken from their report, as follows:
 Migration Advisory Committee, EEA Migration in the UK: Final Report – 18 September 2018