Migrant workers earning cap will deepen teacher supply crisis

Proposals to raise the minimum salary threshold for migrant workers will exacerbate the teacher recruitment and retention crisis, the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union in the UK, has warned.

The Union has written to the Home Secretary to call for teachers to be exempted from proposals to raise the minimum salary threshold for migrant workers.

The Home Office is currently considering whether to raise the minimum salary for all Tier 2 migrants being hired from outside of the EU to £30,000 from the current level of £20,800. This would include overseas teachers either moving to or already in the UK.

If the cap on earnings in not reached in five years the teachers would be required to leave the country.

Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:

“The fact that the application of this cap would result in over half of overseas trained teachers having to quit their jobs shows the extent to which the Government’s pay policies have depressed teachers’ salaries.

“Teachers now no longer can aspire to earn anything above their starting salary.

“An overseas trained teacher therefore could, like other teachers, find the cap is out of reach and impossible to reach within the time limit.

“While it is estimated that the £30,000 cap would affect 14% of all applications across Tier 2, this cap would affect 48% of secondary and 55% of primary education teaching professionals.

“Schools are currently in the grip of a teacher recruitment and retention crisis. The imposition of this cap will exacerbate the problem, making a bad situation even worse.

“The NASUWT will be continuing to press the Government to exempt overseas trained teachers from the salary cap, but the solution is to end the pay restraint which has been imposed on teachers and end the discriminatory and unfair barriers to pay profession which have made teaching uncompetitive and unattractive.”