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Unison joins growing wave of anger over government's new visa rules

PUBLIC-sector union Unison has joined a growing wave of anger at the government’s new visa rules it says will “tear apart” the families of migrant workers.

Overseas health and care workers will be prevented from bringing their spouses and children to the UK under the changes announced by the government.

The minimum earnings level imposed on migrant workers who want to bring family members to the UK has been more than doubled from £18,600 to £38,700.

Unison warned that the “inhumane” regulations would make the struggling social care sector’s 152,000 staff shortage even worse.

The union supported Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, who warned the House of Lords of the “negative impact” the rules will have on migrant workers and their families.

Unison general secretary Christina McAnea said: “The government will tear families apart with this heartless policy. 

“Overseas care workers in the UK have been left in limbo as Christmas approaches. Ministers haven’t said if their children and partners must leave. 

“These rules are not only inhumane but will plunge social care even deeper into crisis. 

“The care sector will collapse without migrant staff. Care companies bring them to the UK because they’re desperately short of workers.

“Wages need to rise to recruit staff in the UK. Yet not one prime minister from this Conservative government has delivered on promises for funding and reform in social care. 

“What’s needed is a proper national strategy that boosts wages and working conditions. Not one that demonises overseas care staff and their families.” 

Mr Welby said: “Government needs families to work. They must not set a series of hurdles for them to jump over.”

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