Examination of Witnesses

Part of Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:00 pm on 12th February 2019.

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Rosa Crawford:

The TUC is very concerned about the impact of the £30,000 threshold. We are concerned about it now—it applies to non-EU workers—and applying it to EU workers would have a devastating impact on many sectors. The Government estimate that 80% of EU workers would fall below the threshold. It is not only nursing and other parts of the health service, but distribution, hospitality and many parts of industry, that are heavily dependent on EU workers. There would be a really negative impact on those workers if that threshold was introduced.

The TUC is saying that, in the long term, there needs to be action on pay so that more workers receive a better settlement. The Migration Advisory Committee has suggested that this threshold would be an incentive to improve pay, but unfortunately that is not what we have seen. The pay cap has been in place for seven years, and we are only just moving out of that. The TUC is still calling for a fully funded settlement to ensure that workers are decently paid and that their wages keep up where they have fallen behind for the last seven years. We have not yet seen that.

Unfortunately, there are not enough employers in the private sector paying workers decently, so many million workers are still in insecure contracts and are not being paid a living wage. We want action on pay alongside action to ensure that the workers we need now to fill the critical shortages that Donna has talked about can come in. We need not to have the £30,000 threshold, and we need serious action on pay in the public sector and key parts of the private sector to ensure that everybody is treated decently and that migrant workers and UK workers receive decent pay for their work.