The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) plays a crucial role in shaping immigration policies in the UK. Following, their recommendations to abolish the Shortage Occupation List in October 2023, MAC have now been commissioned by the Home Secretary to undertake a review of the Immigration Salary List (ISL) which is the new proposed name for the UK Shortage of Occupation List (SOL).

The Home Secretary now wants MAC to decide which jobs, currently on the shortage list or recommended in the October 2023 report, should temporarily go on the new ISL until a broader review is conducted.

The government is set to reform the SOL based on recommendations from MAC's October 2023 report, which includes abolishing the SOL which offers organisations the ability to sponsor workers at 80% of the job's usual going rate.

The Home Office will also use the National Statistics' Standard Occupational Code 2020 coding system, as recommended in the committee's October 2023 report. The 2020 codes will be used by the Home Office to update the going salary rates for occupations in April 2024 when other changes are also expected to take place in a bid to reduce net migration in the UK.

MAC is expected to produce their initial report and recommendations by 23 February 2024. MAC's challenge is to strike a balance between meeting the economic needs of the UK and ensuring fairness in the immigration system. By carefully considering salary thresholds, the committee aims to prevent exploitation while attracting skilled talent to contribute to the UK's economic growth.

The repercussions of MAC's rapid review will likely unfold over the coming months. Employers, migrants, and policymakers will closely monitor how the changes impact workforce dynamics, economic growth, and the overall efficiency of the UK's immigration system.

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