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New Impending Legislation in the U.K. Could Affect Your Global Mobility Plans

February 25, 2016 3:00:00 PM EST | By: Pam Buchanan, GMS

If you’re sending employees on assignment in the U.K., you may want to pay attention to this impending legislation.

U.K. legislation affecting global mobilityA new U.K. proposal is up for vote in April 2016 in hopes of increasing companies’ investment in British workers versus migrant workers.  Tier 2 visa applicants (intra-company skilled workers based outside of Europe offered a role in a U.K. branch) are steadily increasing in the U.K. This is causing concern for the U.K. government, which is looking into possible changes to their Tier 2 Visa requirements.

What’s proposed?

Some of the proposed changes the U.K. government submitted to the Migration Advisory Board (independent public advisory board for migration issues) to be applied to medium and large companies include:

  • Increasing the minimum salary threshold to GBP 30,000 (Currently it is at GBP 20,800 or higher for some high paying roles)
  • Charging companies an “immigration skills charge” of GBP 1,000 fee per year per skilled worker brought in from outside of Europe which could raise approximately GBP 250 million to go towards training British-based workers in UK firms
  • Tightening the rules on intra-company transfers

Neil Carberry from the CBI business lobby group stated in a BBC news article, "We live in a global economy, we have short-term skills shortages, but we also have multi-national companies who frankly can base work in different countries and we want it to be attractive for these big companies to come and invest in the U.K. and create jobs here."

Is the U.K. making the right decision?

U.K. Immigration legislationThis solution may help the U.K. invest more money into their people and could potentially help with their overcrowded population issue. On the flip side, however, these changes on top of previously passed legislation taxing larger companies for apprenticeships could cause companies to take their business elsewhere.

The impact for multi-national companies with strong global mobility ties to the U.K. could be far reaching.  If this legislation is passed, it may also change the way foreign companies do business in the U.K. How would your company react? Our experts can provide guidance and assistance in making both large and small decisions for your global mobility program, Contact us now for a consultation.

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