UK: The MAC Report: A Potential Glimpse Into The UK's Future Immigration System

Last Updated: 12 October 2018
Article by Gemma Hill

In July 2017 the government commissioned the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to gather evidence in respect of the patterns of EU migration into the UK and the impact of that migration, ahead of the UK's exit from the EU next year.

The intention was that, having collated such evidence the MAC could report back its findings and provide recommendations as to how immigration could be dealt with post Brexit. It was expected that the MAC report would be used as a basis for developing the UK's future immigration system to apply from 31 December 2020, when the agreed transitional period that will apply post Brexit will end.

On 18 September 2018 the MAC published its report into EU migration into the UK.

The key recommendations in respect of the future immigration system in the UK are:

  • There should be no preference for EU Citizens, EU Citizens should be subject to the same immigration controls as those wishing to come to the UK from outside of the EU.
  • There should be a focus on higher-skilled workers and so any new system should enable highly skilled workers to come to the UK more easily than lower skilled workers.
  • The Immigration Skills Charge which is an annual charge of £1,000 (or £364 for small companies and charities) that is payable in respect of each migrant worker that a company sponsors under the points based system, should be extended so that it will also apply to EU citizens post Brexit.
  • The Immigration Health Surcharge of £200 a year that most migrant workers under the points based systems are required to pay to access the NHS should also be applied to EU workers post Brexit.
  • The Points Based immigration system, currently used to enable workers from outside the EU to work within the UK subject to sponsorship by an employer, should be extended to cover EU workers. The most common route used under this system is Tier 2 (General), which allows employers to sponsor skilled workers to enable them to work in the UK. The MAC suggested this route could be extended to cover EU workers, subject to the following changes;

    • The annual cap that currently applies to restrict the number of migrant workers that are allowed to come to the UK to work under Tier 2 (General) should be abolished.
    • The skills level for eligible jobs under Tier 2 should be extended to medium skilled jobs at RQF 3-5. Currently the eligible roles for sponsorship under Tier 2 (General) are mainly highly skilled jobs at RQF 6, that is, degree level. However the MAC recommends that the minimum salary for an eligible role should remain at £30,000 per annum regardless of the skill level.
    • Consideration should be given to removing the requirement for employers to undertake the Resident Labour Market Test which imposes an obligation for an employer to go through a detailed recruitment campaign before they are able to employ a non-settled worker into a role.
    • Tier 2 migrants should be allowed to switch employers within the UK more easily.
    • The current system should be reviewed as it is complex, and harder for smaller businesses to use, but no further details were given.
  • There is no proposal by the MAC that low-skilled workers should be covered within the future immigration system. The MAC recommends that if there is to be a route for such workers the youth mobility scheme, which allows for individuals between the age of 18-30 from participating countries to come and live and work in the UK for up to 2 years, could be extended.

Some of the MAC's recommendations will be welcomed by employers, for example the suggestion to abolish the cap and the resident labour market test, as they will potentially remove some of the barriers that employers face in recruiting those they need from outside of the UK. However, given the huge demands that this system places on employers in terms of costs and administration, many will also, understandably, be nervous about the potential for the scheme to be extended to cover EU citizens as well. Also, given the administrative problems and delays that employers already face in dealing with the Home Office in respect of this system as it currently stands, it remains to be seen how the Home Office will cope if EU workers are also brought into this scheme.

Another key issue that appears to have been overlooked by the MAC is the issue of low skilled workers. A great number of EU workers working in the UK are doing so in low skilled jobs, and a number of sectors, for example social care, hospitality and construction, rely on these workers. If the MAC proposals are adopted, these workers would not be able to come to work in the UK unless the youth mobility scheme is extended, but even then this will significantly limit the ability of these industries to recruit. Further, even though the MAC has recommended that the points based system be extended to cover "medium skilled" jobs, if the minimum salary of £30,000 per annum is to remain in place such jobs are unlikely to attract this level of salary in practice, and so this recommendation may not actually help employers as much as it would first appear.

Of course the MAC recommendations are just that – recommendations – and the government may or may not follow these. However, given that previous reports from the MAC have very much shaped the immigration system that we currently have, if future migration does not form part of the exit negotiations with the EU before Brexit, it seems likely that these recommendations will at least form some part of our future immigration system. It is now a matter of watching this space and waiting for the promised Immigration White Paper to see to what extent this will be.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Freeths LLP
Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP
In association with
Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Freeths LLP
Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions