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Intra-Company Transfers must be closely monitored, REC Technology warns

Intra-Company Transfers must be closely monitored, REC Technology warns
As the annual immigration cap comes into force today, the use of intra-company transfers (ICTs) must be closely monitored, REC Technology has warned.
The rules around the ICT exemption are designed to ensure that only highly skilled people can be brought into the country for a limited time to share expertise within a company. To qualify, the worker must be paid at least 40,000, and can stay for no more than five years, with no right to settlement.
Concerns have been raised that, unless this minimum salary level is properly enforced, companies will be able to bring in IT staff from outside the UK to cover the same jobs for less than they would pay equivalent UK contractors.
There must be no tolerance for companies who attempt to circumvent the rules, for example by using accommodation allowances to falsely inflate a reported salary, or even paying tax contributions for the employee as a benefit of their job to achieve the same end, both of which have been reported by REC members.
Commenting, Jeff Brooks, Chair of REC Technology, said:
The immigration system has to be flexible to the needs of business, including the ability to bring senior internal people across from other countries in order to lead projects and create more jobs. The exemption for ICTs is a sensible step in this regard, which the REC supports.
However, if the exemption is not properly policed and implemented there is the potential for abuse, particularly in the IT sector. The minimum salary of 40,000 must be rigorously enforced by the UK Borders Agency, to ensure companies do not use allowances and benefits to create a falsified salary that allows them to bring in an overseas worker to do a job for less money.
The UK has a very strong base of skilled IT contractors. As long as they are given a level playing field they can compete for these jobs, but the government must ensure that they are not disadvantaged by the ICT system.
REC Technology will use our frontline view of the IT job market to monitor the effect of the exemption and the wider immigration cap, and feed back to government on any changes that are needed.


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