Monday 24 February 2020 12:01 am

FSB calls for small business exemptions to immigration fees

The government’s new immigration rules can work for small businesses if hiring costs are kept down and the system is easy to navigate, according to a new report.

The new points-based immigration system, to be implemented from 2021, will require EU immigration applicants to speak English, have a job offer in the UK and to have never been given a custodial sentence of 12 months or more. The minimum salary for job offers needs to be £25,600.

Read more: DEBATE: Should business be concerned about the planned immigration curbs on low-skilled workers?

However, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) released a new report today, finding that 48 per cent of companies surveyed “would be unable to meet the immigration fees currently levied on employers when they hire non-EU staff should they be extended to all workers from around the world”.

The report recommends the government keeps the cost of hiring overseas employees to below £1,000, include a special visa for social care workers and exempts small firms from paying any immigration fees.

FSB National Chairman Mike Cherry said: “Against a backdrop of weak economic growth, record employment and an ageing workforce, it’s critical that we get this new system right, particularly when timeframes are so tight.”