Migration Advisory Committee Annual Report 2022 – our response
MAC have published their Annual Report for 2022 and have expressed their strong frustration at the lack of activity by the Home Office
The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) is an independent public body that advises the government on migration issues. They use their UK-wide remit to work across government departments and provide transparent, independent, and evidence-based advice for Ministers to base their decisions on.
Having been commissioned by the government in 2021 to investigate and report on the impact of Brexit and the ending of free movement on the Adult Social Care sector, MAC published their final report in April 2022. SIA worked closely with MAC on this investigation and met with them several times so that the voice of spinal cord injured (SCI) people was heard as part of the inquiry, in particular to represent those people who recruited and used carers from overseas. We were pleased to see our efforts were recognised in the final report, which contained a total of 19 recommendations relating to data, workforce strategy, pay and conditions and immigration policy for social care, that would help to ease the burden on employers and migrants alike.
Since then, SIA has been eagerly awaiting the formal response from the Home Office, but some 8 months later this still hasn’t been forthcoming. Now MAC have published their Annual Report for 2022 and have expressed their strong frustration at the lack of activity by the Home Office. They note that the crisis in social care “has worsened since the (April 2022) report was published”, with around 70,000 more vacancies now than before the pandemic (an overall vacancy rate of 11.1%). At the same time, they report that the cost-of-living crisis is particularly severe for social care workers, given that their pay remains tied to insufficient government funding and that they’re generally not well compensated for their fuel costs. The full report can be found here: Migration Advisory Committee: annual report, 2022 – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
MAC didn’t pull any punches in their Annual Report when they said:
“We are very disappointed that the Government has not responded to any of our recommendations in the 8 months since receiving the report it commissioned from us. The conditions now faced by the social care sector are unsustainable. Persistent underfunding by successive governments underlies almost all the workforce problems in the sector. Despite calls from the Health and Social Care Select Committee, the Public Accounts Committee, the NHS Confederation, Care England and numerous other organisations alongside the MAC, the Government appears to have no ambitions to raise pay in a material and properly funded way. We look forward to seeing a full response from the Minister for Immigration and the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care as soon as possible.”
In response to the report’s publication, Nik Hartley OBE, Chief Executive of SIA, said:
“SIA welcomes the publication of the latest annual report from the Migration Advisory Committee. Many SCI people rely on highly skilled and competent carers to enable them to lead fulfilled, active, and productive lives. Not having access to those care workers can be devastating both physically and mentally, and our engagement with MAC was crucial in helping to shine a light on this and ensuring MAC understood about spinal cord injury and the critical importance to SCI people of being able to use skilled care workers irrespective of their country of origin. It’s a source of deep frustration and disappointment that the government still hasn’t responded to the MAC report on the impact of the ending of free movement on the care sector, and we hope the excellent MAC annual report helps to prompt the government to do so as a matter of priority.”
SIA will continue to press the government to respond to the MAC report. If you’ve been affected by the impact of the ending of free movement on your ability to recruit your carers, and would like to share your story, please email our Campaigns Manager, Dave Bracher at [email protected]