UK: Call For Evidence Regarding Potential Reforms To Tier 1 And 2

Last Updated: 6 May 2009
Article by Caron Pope, Louise Carson and Emily Pope

Further to our communication, the Secretary of State has requested that the Migration Advisory Committee ("MAC") advise on the following issues:

  • What further changes to Tier 1 of the Points Based System should there be in 2010/11, given the changing economic circumstances?
  • Is there an economic case for restricting Tier 2 to shortage occupations?
  • What is the MAC's assessment of the economic contribution made by the dependants of the Points Based System and their role in the labour market?

A Conceptual Paper and Call for Evidence was published on 30 April.

The MAC has been asked to report on the first point by the end of October 2009 and the second and third by the end of July. Whilst they wish to respond to the economic conditions, they are mindful that they must act to 'secure the UK's long-term economic prosperity and respond to the economic upswing when it occurs'. Factors to be considered include employment, unemployment, earnings, GDP, net fiscal position, labour market flexibility, inward investment, international trade patterns and technological change.

However, it is now vital that employers mobilise themselves and lobby the MAC to ensure that their interests are represented and the valuable routes into the UK for migrant workers are preserved.

Tier 1

Tier 1 was created to attract highly skilled migrants to the UK and therefore is supply (rather than demand) focused, although can be used by employers to ensure specific individuals can come to the UK to work without the need for sponsorship.

Whilst the MAC will review all four Tier 1 categories (Entrepreneurs, Investor, Post Study Worker, General), it is likely that Tier 1 (General) and Tier 1 (Post Study Worker) are likely to be of most value to employers and they may wish to make representations as to the need for these schemes by their business.

The MAC is considering the following:

  • Changing the pass mark from 75 points
  • Changing the requirements by adding new ones or removing existing ones
  • Changing the number of points awarded for each requirement
  • Altering leave to remain durations

In particular, the MAC require evidence on the following:

  • How, if at all, should the points and/or leave to enter or remain entitlements be adjusted or changed in 2010/11 to respond to current and future changes in economic and labour market conditions?
  • In what sectors do Tier 1 (General) and (Post Study Workers) migrants work and why?

Tier 2

Tier 2 (the tier under which migrants are sponsored) will also be revisited. The MAC recognise that the UK must be responsive to employer demand however they will be considering arguments for against:

  • closing the Tier 2 (General) and Tier 2 (ICT)
  • introducing new requirements for Tier 2 (General) and Tier 2 (ICT)
  • altering the points criteria for Tier 2 (General) and Tier 2 (ICT)
  • altering the leave entitlements

As broad policy questions, they request submissions to answer the following questions:

  • Does the current allocation of points by entry route achieve the right balance between the relative difficulties of entering the UK via each route?
  • Should the current length of leave to enter or remain entitlement by entry route be altered to reflect relative shortages, and their likely duration, by occupation?

Of particular concern for employers is the potential abolition of the ICT route for the individuals with 6 months experience working for a group company overseas. The MAC wish to answer the following queries:

  • What evidence is there of the potential impact on the UK economy and labour market of suspending this route until further notice?
  • Is there any evidence of displacement of domestic workers or undercutting?
  • Do workers gaining entry through the ICT route complement the skills of the domestic workforce?
  • Do such workers fill roles that genuinely require a current company employee?

In addition, the loss of the Tier 2 (General) route would also be of concern to employers who frequently use it to recruit those with a very specific set of skills where roles are not the shortage occupation lists. The MAC require evidence to answer the following queries:

  • What evidence is there of the potential impact on the UK economy and labour market of suspending this route until further notice?
  • Is there any evidence of displacement of domestic workers or undercutting?
  • Is the route operating effectively: for instance, should the required advertising time be longer that one or two weeks?

As there is currently no management information regarding PBS, it is vital that employers respond to this request. We strongly encourage employers who could be adversely affected to write to MAC to confirm their use of these categories and the detrimental effect their removal would have on their business, emphasising the importance of staff mobility on business continuity and the importance of successful transfer of skills within a global corporation.


The MAC have also requested information in relation to the economic contribution of migrant's dependants. Whilst other information is requested, perhaps the query most relevant to global employers is:

  • What impact does policy on dependants (ie. their right to work) have on the decision of principal immigrants to come to the UK to work

Request for Information

Employers should write to the MAC by the 11 June for their views to be considered.


Migration Advisory Committee
6th Floor, Advance House
15 Wellesey Road

Please ensure that you provide the following:

  • Your name
  • Address
  • Contact Details
  • Details of the Organisation you represent
  • Full and specific evidence to support any claims, together with an easily digestible summary


The MAC has been asked to report on various aspects of PBS to allow the Government to respond to the economic downturn.

The most concerning matter for employers, is that the MAC has been asked to report on restricting Tier 2 to shortage occupations which would be extremely detrimental to employers who regularly transfer migrant staff from overseas.

Employers should ensure that they lobby the MAC, giving details of the impact on their business by 11 June 2009.

This article was written for Law-Now, CMS Cameron McKenna's free online information service. To register for Law-Now, please go to

Law-Now information is for general purposes and guidance only. The information and opinions expressed in all Law-Now articles are not necessarily comprehensive and do not purport to give professional or legal advice. All Law-Now information relates to circumstances prevailing at the date of its original publication and may not have been updated to reflect subsequent developments.

The original publication date for this article was 06/05/2009.

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.

In association with
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
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). 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 & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd 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 or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.