Immigration cap must be discussed with employers, CIPD warns

The new coalition government must consult employers before introducing a migration cap, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has urged.

The HR professional body highlighted “deep concerns” about the imposition of a cap on the number of non-EU migrants coming to the UK, which the new Conservative and Liberal Democrat government yesterday confirmed would be implemented.

Stephanie Bird, director of the CIPD, said: “This could leave many employers struggling to hire the talented performers they need to survive and thrive in the still-tentative recovery.

“We note that the two parties are committed to jointly considering the mechanism for implementing the limit, and hope they will consult openly and extensively with employers before legislating or acting on this commitment.”

Manufacturers’ group the EEF previously told Personnel Today it was concerned the cap could be set at a level to suit public demand rather than business needs.

But the CIPD has welcomed the Tory and Lib Dems’ plan to scrap the employer national insurance contribution rise in 2011.

Bird said: “We’re delighted that the employers’ national insurance contribution rise will now be scrapped. We have argued since the policy was first proposed in the pre-Budget report in November 2008 that it may be damaging to jobs at a time when the labour market could ill-afford such risks, and employers clearly told us that the rise would lead to less job creation and more redundancies.”

The CIPD was also pleased the new government had pledged to phase out the default retirement age (DRA).

“Its abolition could have a dramatic impact on the way older workers are perceived in the workplace, and on their ability to contribute their energy and experience to delivering on the business objectives of their employers,” Bird said.

However, the Employers’ Forum on Age was “disappointed” the DRA would only be phased out by the new government, as opposed to scrapped immediately. Personnel Today has long been campaigning to ditch the DRA.

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