Feeds

IT contractors demand overhaul of company transfer visas

But not concerned with immigrating ballet dancers

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

The Professional Contractors Group has called on the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to overhaul the rules regarding "intra company transfers" amidst rising concern that the system is open to abuse.

The contractors' organisation is lobbying the MAC - a group of economists which advises the government on immigration policy - to tighten up the rules around intra company transfers as part of a review it is due to publish next month.

The 'importing' of cheap IT contractors has long been a bugbear for UK IT workers, and the perceived problem has gotten worse as the recession has bitten. Immigration authorities are apparently concerned at the high number of intra company transfer visas that have been granted for ICT workers from outside the EU.

BT was accused earlier this month of importing workers from TechMahindra and paying them £220 a day, compared to the £400 a UK contractor could expect to command. BT has rejected the claims, saying that while it is using TechMahindra on projects, BT itself is not employing or importing TechMahindra contractors. BT has a stake in TechMahindra, and is in the middle of a wide-ranging jobs cull, having already frozen wages for both staffers and contractors.

Other alleged abuses of the system include bringing staff over without company specific skills, who are then trained up by UK contractors, only to return to their companies of origin to set up an offshored operation.

It has also been suggested that some companies have been paying below market rates and using byzantine pay structures to obscure the rates they pay non-EU staff.

PCG spokesman George Anastasi said that the organisation wanted companies to be required to jump through the same hoops for intra-company transfers as they would for securing work permits on other non-EU workers. These include first making sure there aren't suitable candidates in the UK, including advertising the role for at least two weeks, and paying the going rate for jobs.

He added that the organisation is broadly happy with the way the system for non-intra company transfer workers was working, though it would like to see more "robust" monitoring of the scheme.

The MAC is expected to report next month. Anastasi said he was hopeful that the MAC would take the organisation's representations on board: "They listen to the view on the ground."

The PCG may be encouraged by MAC's “list of occupations for which there is a shortage of skilled workers in the UK and Scotland” published last year as the backbone for a points-based immigration system. This pinpointed shortages of ballet dancers, fish-gutters and sheep shearers in the UK, but concluded that we already had adequate numbers of IT staff.

®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
10 Top Tips For PRs Considering Whether To Phone The Register
You'll Read These And LOL Even Though They're Serious
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.