The ‘First Chance’ rule – also known as the ‘Resident Labour Market Test’ – is an immigration safeguard that means UK workers have the first opportunity to apply for job openings before such vacancies are offered overseas.
It is now on the chopping block.
This despite the fact that the official expert committee on migration reported that labour market tests such as this help ‘protect the domestic workforce from being displaced or replaced by migrant workers’ (MAC, Dec, 2015, p.151 of link).
With the number of UK jobcentre claimants rising by 126% since the lockdown began (and unemployment projected to surpass four million), it is vital that Britain gets back to work quickly.
The government must not scrap the ‘First Chance’ rule.
77% of the public say getting UK people back on the job should be the priority; not mass overseas hiring drives (see more details of May 2020 Deltapoll commissioned by Migration Watch UK).
But some UK companies have a sorry track record on nurturing homegrown talent.
They ignore social responsibilities, failing to invest in UK workers with decent wages, proper conditions and sufficient training.
Instead they fall back on hiring overseas to boost profits, while ignoring the need to invest in people and productivity.
The situation may be far worse if UK workers had not been protected for decades by the ‘First Chance’ rule.
Even New Labour kept the rule. So did David Cameron.
It’s been supported by Jobcentre Plus. Many other countries have similar rules in place.
Abolishing it would expose our workers to unlimited global immigration, especially as their plan includes a removal of the limit on the number of work permits issued each year. There would now be no limit on numbers.
Turning first to overseas labour during an employment crisis is immoral.
Why should British talent lose out so big business can boost profits?
Why would Ministers remove one of the last remaining protections for UK jobseekers during a time of rocketing unemployment?
Please ask your MP not to support this.
Getting back control of our borders is vital.
But MPs must ensure that the First Chance Rule stays.
To scrap it would add insult to injury to British workers when they are already down and hurting.
Also see our video on this topic.