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Cath Everett

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Migration cap ‘needs consultation’ says CIPD


An influential HR body has called for employers to be consulted on the new government’s proposed migration cap because it could leave them struggling to hire the talent required to “survive and thrive” in a still-tentative economic recovery.

Stephanie Bird, director of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) said that members had expressed a “deep concern” about any moves to impose “an arbitrary cap on non-EU migration”. Teresa May, the new Home Secretary, has so far failed to clarify what such an annual ceiling might be, claiming that time was required to evaluate the situation.
“We note that the two parties are committed to jointly considering the mechanism for implementing the limit, and hope they will consult openly and extensively with employers before legislating or acting on this commitment,” Bird said.
But the body broadly welcomed other proposed initiatives. It was “delighted” that a rise in employers’ National Insurance Contributions would now be scrapped as it claimed the move would have led to fewer jobs being created and more redundancies.
Bird also believed that proposals to simplify the current array of welfare to work programmes and to refer job seekers most in need of support for immediate help rather than asking them to wait for 12 months looked “sensible”.
“Today’s unemployment figures highlight the scale of the challenge, and the new government has no time to waste in adding flesh to the bones of these proposals,” she added.
The phased abolition of the Default Retirement Age (DRA) was likewise praised as it could have a “dramatic impact on the way older workers are perceived in the workplace, and on their ability to contribute their energy and experience to delivering the business objectives of their employers,” Bird continued.
One of the dangers of a DRA was that, in some instances, it encouraged managers to avoid managing the performance of senior workers who were nearing retirement effectively and unfairly characterised all older personnel as “having a sell-by date”.
Finally, although it was unclear how much room for manoeuvre the new government had in controlling how the European Union’s Working Time Directive was implemented, maintaining the UK’s growing flexible working culture offered the prospect of “a far greater contribution to well-being and work-life balance” than the kind of regulatory approach embodied in the Directive, Bird said.


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