UK Budget Assessments
Spring Budget 2021: Covid-19 and economic challenges for migrant women
Date Posted: Monday 1st March 2021
- Migrant women have been vital key workers during the current Covid-19 pandemic. Migrants are over-represented in care roles, for example 37% are registered nurses and 16% of the social care workforce are migrants.
- Most migrants are barred from accessing public funds under the ‘no recourse to public funds’ (NRPF) condition stamped on their passports.
- NRPF creates problems for women who are on family visas and are economically dependent on their partners, who may face destitution if the relationship breaks down. They also risk becoming undocumented as their visa depends on the relationship.
- Many migrant women are on zero-hours contracts with no guaranteed wage or access to sick pay. In these circumstances, many will not be eligible for coronavirus income support and NRPF means they can’t access Universal Credit and other income-support benefits.
- NRPF status is discriminatory against women, disabled people, and pregnant women and risks leaving individuals and families destitute. It has been deemed in breach of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
- For migrants in the UK not employed by the NHS, the NHS surcharge currently stands at £400 per person per year, costing the average family of four £16,000 over 10 years.
- 71% of EU migrants who are ‘key workers’ would not be eligible for a UK work visa under the new Points-Based Immigration system