Nuffield Trust: Immigration plans risk destabilising struggling social care sector

Press release

Published: 04/12/2023

Commenting on the Home Secretary’s immigration announcement, Nuffield Trust Fellow Camille Oung said:

“The Government is right to keep care workers exempt from the increased salary requirement announced today, but the plan takes a huge risk with the fragile social care workforce at a time it can ill-afford to lose staff.

“We know that there are 152,000 vacancies across social care and the government itself has depended on migration to meet the difficult recruitment challenges the sector is facing.

“While the plans do not intend to reduce the number of staff coming from abroad, they will deter those with dependents – a troubling move for a largely female workforce. What’s more, this year the number of domestic staff who started working in the care sector dropped, yet there is no clear plan or investment into improving conditions for the workforce.

“Without an accompanying long-term plan for the social care workforce, these proposals risk destabilising the already struggling social care sector, with those that lose out ultimately being the people in need of care and support.”