New rules feared to hinder smooth flow of foreign workers

‘Workers on intra-company transfers to be hit directly’

Companies to pay foreign skilled workers and British workers same salaries

Indian delegation to meet British authorities

5th April 2010: As the new British visa rules are being implemented this week, apprehensions have started to surface among the entrepreneurs that it will hinder the smooth flow of workers into the UK; and also affect investments.

It is feared that the worst hit would be the workers being posted on intra-company transfers, particularly from India.

The apprehensions stem from the fact the new rules make it mandatory that the gross salary package to be actually paid to a migrant must be at least equal to that paid to a resident worker."

In other words, the rules coming into force from April 6 makes it necessary for companies to pay skilled workers being posted to Britain salaries equal to the ones normally paid to British workers.

Reacting to the developments, a delegation of executives from Indian companies is expected to meet British authorities to formally lodge a protest against the coming into existence of the new visa rules.

It is apprehended that many companies will find it tough to pay high salaries to their workers.

Already, the UK Border Agency has ruled in favour of amendments to make 12 months experience, instead of six, mandatory before such shifting. It follows reports that an estimated 30,000 non-EU migrant workers entered the UK through intra-company transfers in the technology sector last year.

A declaration to this effect had come in response to claim by the Association of Professional Staffing Companies. It had asserted that the Tier 2, intra-company transfer category of the points-based system, is providing a loophole for the Indian IT companies to bring foreign workers into the UK.

The Agency reiterated that the category will additionally be closed as a route to permanent settlement in the UK.

Immigration Minister Phil Woolas too had defended the transfers, saying they made Britain an attractive place to do business.

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