Workplace rights: Immigration wrong turn

The Government has confirmed it's planning an annual limit on economic migrants from outside the EU.

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Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

Details are unclear, but the policy could create major difficulties for companies needing to recruit specialist expertise from abroad. Skilled, non-EU migrants account for about 30% of total immigration into the UK, with the points-based system ensuring only workers whose knowledge and experience genuinely fill a gap can qualify. Such individuals must be paid at least market rate to protect local job candidates and must prove they can accommodate and support themselves. The Government's proposal not only fails to address the issue of large-scale European immigration, but is also likely to exclude just the type of talented individuals most able to contribute to UK businesses and support the economic recovery. A cap on skilled migration risks deterring multinational companies from locating or remaining in the UK, undermining London's position as a global business and finance centre.

Michael Burd and James Davies, Lewis Silkin LLP solicitors, email: employment@lewissilkin.com

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