Errors force Border Agency to revert to last year's immigrant worker rules

Errors in the UK Border Agency's code of practice for businesses bringing workers from overseas have forced the government department to withdraw recent...

Errors in the UK Border Agency's code of practice for businesses bringing workers from overseas have forced the government department to withdraw recent changes and revert to the 2010 rules for the time being.

The 2011 data on the minimum salaries that must be paid to overseas workers in the UK were published last week, but the agency pulled the rules early this week.

The changes had been welcomed in the IT sector because there had been a significant increase in the minimum salaries expected to be paid for many IT roles. This makes it more expensive for businesses to bring offshore workers to the UK and could go some way towards cutting out the practice that sees thousands of UK IT workers undercut by offshore suppliers.

Steve Lamb, regional operations manager at UK Border Agency, said, "We have been alerted to errors in two of the recently published codes of practice and these are now being corrected. In the meantime, the previous codes have been reinstated onto our website."

Reverting to last year's rules will give businesses and offshore suppliers a window to bring staff in on lower salaries. "This will be an opportunity for businesses in the right place at the right time, but decision cycles are long so not many companies could take advantage," says one outsourcing industry source.

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