Andy Dean - Fotolia
A court has ruled that Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) did not indirectly discriminate against a UK man seeking employment with the company because he was a UK citizen.
Prashant Sengar, who owns and runs a restaurant called Spicy Affair which is used by TCS employees, claimed he was discriminated against when seeking employment with TCS at its Leamington Spa office because the company has a policy of recruiting lower-cost staff from India.
But over a year after the original claim, a tribunal has dismissed the case. "Following the tribunal judgment, it has been concluded that TCS did not discriminate against Mr Sengar and therefore has dismissed his claim,” said a statement from TCS.
Sengar had a copy of an employee database for TCS, which he claimed proved that the company broke immigration rules when recruiting staff from India to work in the UK. He alleged that many staff outside IT are being brought to the UK in breach of ICT rules.
Sengar was ordered by the High Court in London to return a database.
At an earlier tribunal, employment judge SJ Auerbach did not permit Sengar to proceed with claims of direct discrimination, harassment and victimisation against TCS, but an indirect discrimination claim, which alleges that TCS has a policy of recruiting lower-cost staff from India, was allowed to progress.
The case is significant in the IT industry because IT suppliers, including India-based companies, have been accused of abusing the intra-company transfers (ICT) system, which was introduced so that large multinationals could bring senior overseas staff to the UK if they had UK operations.
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But today, thousands of IT professionals are brought to the UK to work on contracts run by offshore suppliers. Critics suggest this undercuts UK workers.
Most ICTs involve IT professionals, a large proportion of whom come from India. For example, TCS has more than 10,000 UK-based staff, but has only about 4,000 British employees.
UK IT workers and campaigners claim that what they describe as an immigration loophole puts them at a disadvantage because staff from India are paid less. The UK government sets a minimum pay threshold for migrants to try to ensure UK staff can compete on price, and has said it intends to fast-track measures to increase the minimum salary required.