ALP asks European Commission to prevent British Government
ALP asks European Commission to prevent British Government extending the Accession States Worker Registration Scheme
The Association of Labour Providers has asked the European Commission to commence infraction proceedings against the British government following its decision to extend the accession States Workers Registration Scheme for a further two years.
Mark Boleat, the Chairman of the ALP said
The decision of the British Government was illogical, contradictory, unjustifiable and possibly contrary to European law.
Our submission to the European Commission argues -
For political reasons the government has decided to extend the WRS for a further two years, imposing a considerable burden on low paid workers and a lesser burden on their employers. The government asked the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) for a report only after it had decided to extend the scheme. The MAC itself admits that it took no account of the interests of workers or of employers.
The MAC asserts with no evidence that the 90 fee for registering acts as a deterrent to workers coming to Britain. It does not. It is merely a deterrent to registering and an encouragement to working in the informal economy.
The MAC report noted that the government could maintain the WRS only if it could demonstrate that abolition would threaten to generate or somehow exacerbate a serious disturbance to the domestic labour market. It then recommended retention of the scheme while admitting: We would therefore expect any impact of abolishing or retaining it on the number of A8 immigrants employed to be small. This is a clear contradiction.
There is no suggestion that workers from the A8 countries are seriously disrupting the labour market.
The decision was taken without taking due regard to the interests of or proper consultation with the social partners and other stakeholders.
At various times the government has given different reasons for retaining the scheme limiting access to social security benefits (Cabinet Office paper, September 2005), counting A8 workers in Britain (Home Secretary, 22 February 2009 and Home Office website) and deterring workers from coming to Britain) (acceptance of the MAC report, April 2009).
The decision is of questionable legality.