UK Policy Briefings
Covid-19 and Economics Challenges for Migrant Women
Date Posted: Monday 23rd November 2020
- Migrant women have been vital key workers during the current Covid-19 pandemic. Migrants are concentrated 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. This creates problems for many women who are on family visas and are financially and 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.
- The majority of people who are destitute with NRPF are employed and trying to support themselves through work but are in insecure low-paid jobs like cleaning and in the care sector. Many will be on zero-hours contracts with no guaranteed wage.
- NRPF status is discriminatory and risks leaving individuals and families destitute. It has been deemed in breach of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
- The disproportionate impact of the NRPF policy on women, disabled people, pregnant women and elderly people was found to amount to indirect discrimination against these groups.
- 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 proposed system outlined in the new Immigration Bill.