In the UK, the entry of migrant workers is regulated by four types of policy. Work permits provide authorization for a migrant worker not from the European Union to work in the UK. For a work permit to be issued, the prospective employer must demonstrate that there is a definite job vacancy that needs to be filled and evidence that no domestic worker is available to fill that vacancy. The Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP) was introduced in 2002. Under this programme, workers can apply for a permit that is not attached to a particular job and can move between jobs once their application is successful. The scheme operates through points-scoring with points awarded for educational achievement, work experience, past earnings, achievements in the chosen field, and age. The third element of policy relates to migrants from the A8 countries; that is, the countries in Eastern Europe which joined the EU in 2004. The UK government requires A8 migrants to register with the authorities, in order to monitor migration flows, and has restricted their access to social security benefits. Further restrictions have been placed on migrants from Bulgaria and Romania. Finally, in 2006 the Government issued proposals for a complete overhaul of migration worker policy, based on the points scoring methodology of HSMP. The proposals divide migrants into five tiers and judge applications to work in the UK on the basis of likely contribution to the economy. [See also illegal worker.]
Subjects: Human Resource Management.