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BT slammed for 'importing' cheap Indian contractors

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BT has been accused of laying off expensive UK contractors and replacing them with Indian staff.

Workers brought in using intra-company transfers are replacing contractors for about half the price, a contractor told BBC Radio 4.

According to a contractor working for BT Global Services on the National Programme for IT - the NHS project, workers from TechMahindra, earn about £220 a day, versus £400 a day for a UK contractors. The contractor told the BBC's File on 4 it was a cost-cutting move. He said he'd got the figures from his line manager.

BT told the programme that it was looking to cut its dependence on expensive contractors and that anyone brought in from India was a specialist; intra-company transfers are meant to be for people with skills not available from the British workforce. It said it had not replaced any permanent staff with Indian staff.

TechMahindra said it followed all relevant immigration laws and staff would only be moved using intra-company transfer visas if they had specific knowledge or experience not provided by the UK workforce.

BT owns a 31 per cent stake in Tech Mahindra.

BT is cutting 15,000 jobs this year, on top of the 15,000 cut last year. So far this year it has also frozen wages for its 100,000 staff, and cut contractor rates.®

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