CIPD chief economist John Philpott has called for further restrictions on migration into the UK during the economic downturn.
Philpott told MPs on the Work and Pensions Select Committee this week that the points-based system should be tightened to slow the arrival of non-EU workers.
Under the Australian-style system introduced last year, foreign workers wishing to work in the UK accrue points according to their qualifications, previous earnings, age and UK experience. The number of points required for entry to the UK can be adjusted by the government.
Philpott said: “When we have a slack labour market, we should not need as many migrant workers. It might be that the new points-based system needs to be tightened up to reflect current labour market needs.”
He added: “You should have a policy that makes migration work for you, making it easier for people to come in when you need them, and possibly restricting entry when you don’t.”