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Some Britons Reluctant to Return to Full Work Hours Post-COVID, According to Lord Hague

Some Britons Reluctant to Return to Full Work Hours Post-COVID, According to Lord Hague

Lord Hague, former leader of the Conservative Party, observed that some British citizens seem reluctant to return to pre-pandemic work hours, possibly influenced by the furlough program's "generosity."
He suggested that public health issues like obesity may be contributing to a dip in productivity and willingness to work. The shortage of UK workers for approximately one million job vacancies, particularly in the hospitality sector, has prompted discussion about how to boost domestic workforce participation.

The government's stringent immigration policy has been endorsed by Lord Hague as a sensible approach. The policy comprises increasing the income threshold for skilled workers to £38,700 and limiting family visa earnings to the same figure, disallowing health and care workers from bringing dependants, adjusting the shortage occupation list to prevent lower-wage offers, and reviewing graduate immigration routes to combat misuse.

Professor Brian Bell from the Migration Advisory Committee cautioned that new visa regulations could make it difficult for certain industries to hire, especially for jobs that require specialized but not graduate-level training.

While these rules won't impact the NHS, they might reduce the number of social care workers coming from abroad, adding pressure on the government to develop a long-term strategy for the sector that addresses pay and conditions.

Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick downplayed the impact of not allowing care workers to bring dependents and is hopeful that a £2 billion investment in a ten-year workforce plan will fill the gaps with British workers. Yet, despite the policy changes, he has not agreed to share the Home Office's impact assessment.

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