Feeds

IT contractors demand overhaul of company transfer visas

But not concerned with immigrating ballet dancers

The Power of One Infographic

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.

®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.