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    Immigration Minister suggests £1,000 fee for EU skilled workers

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    The Government’s Immigration Minister, Robert Goodwill, has told a House of Lords committee that a £1,000 a year immigration “skills charge”, which is due to be introduced this April on businesses recruiting non-EU skilled workers, could be applied to businesses recruiting skilled workers from the EU. Mr Goodwill told the committee that imposing a similar levy post-Brexit for workers recruited within the EU “may be something that has been suggested” and would be “helpful to British workers who feel they are overlooked”. The immigration skills charge applies to non-EEA skilled workers, and constitutes an annual fee of £1,000 fee for each year the worker is employed in a UK business. This fee is on top of the existing visa charges.

    Mr Goodwill also suggested that restrictions currently imposed on employers recruiting skilled workers from outside the EU would be applied to recruitment from the EU, post-Brexit. Current restrictions include requiring businesses to try and recruit workers in Britain for a set period of time, before looking outside the EU. Mr Goodwill told the Lords committee that the Brexit vote indicated that people in the UK feel not enough is being done to ensure companies employ from within the UK, and are instead relying too much on migrant workers.

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