Lord Wolfson, the CEO of Next, has suggested that corporations may overcome labour shortages by recruiting foreign workers and paying a “visa tax.”
“Staff was unavailable in the required locations, and seasonal labourers were difficult to get,” he said.
Lord Wolfson “doesn’t want any form of check or restraint on the number of individuals he may hire from abroad to operate his firm,” according to Mr. Johnson. However, Lord Wolfson responded that this was absolutely not the situation.
He proposed that firms be able to get visas for “critically needed” skills and that they be required to pay UK workers the same wage as overseas workers. He advocated that corporations pay a “visa fee on top – let’s say 7% of the salary” to make this more competitive.
“We need to establish a system that gives skills while also ensuring that UK employees are not deprived of the chances they desire,” he said.
He proposed that only UK enterprises, not workers, be eligible for these visas, and that it should not cost employers more to recruit in the UK.
Lord Wolfson told Next that warehouse wages have increased by 60% in the last ten years and by 70% for Christmas pay, adding that “wages have already gone up dramatically.”
However, he stated that the company was still finding that there were insufficient people in certain places who wished to relocate for a short period of time.
Next warned this week that unless immigration regulations are relaxed, it will face price increases and staff shortages before Christmas.
The company issued a warning about potential personnel challenges during the holiday season in its half-year results, which showed a 5.9% increase in earnings before tax compared to the same period last year.
It also forecasted a 2.5 percent increase in average prices in the first half of next year, with homeware prices rising by 6%.