The MAC's recommendations are timely, coinciding with the Government coming under fire for excluding care workers from its new immigration system, which critics have said effectively ignores the role they have played during the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to making this recommendation, the MAC also conducted an independent review into the impact on the social care sector of ending freedom of movement for workers.
In its most recent annual report, the MAC has advised that jobs within the care sector should be eligible for the Health and Care Visa and placed on the shortage occupation list (SOL). The SOL helps migrant workers obtain points to qualify for visas in the Skilled Worker route to take up roles where there are evident shortages.
Ultimately it is for the Government to decide whether to accept the MAC's recommendations. Regardless of whether social care jobs are added to the SOL, the spread of the Omicron variant continues to increase pressure within the care sector and employers may well need to look abroad in order to plug recruitment gaps. If so, specialist immigration advice may be required in order to establish visa requirements in the post-Brexit market.