Indian IT firms may have to employ more UK staff

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Bangalore, Aug 21: Indian IT firms will have to employ more UK workers as Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) is planning to impose strict immigration rules after British lobbyists alleged that overseas staff are replaced by local workers at lower salary levels, Economic Times report said.

According to the report, top India IT firms including TCS, Infosys, Wipro and Tech Mahindra serve British customers such as BT, British Petroleum and British Airways by sending Indian professionals to the country on short-term project assignments.

Anti-offshoring lobbies including Unite and the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) allege that Indian tech firms are misusing the 'intra-company-transfer' rules by replacing UK workers at wages lower than prescribed levels in the country.

The MAC report, submitted by the committee's chairman Professor David Metcalf to UK"s Home Office on Wednesday, Aug 19, said, "We believe that the earnings thresholds should rise in line with earnings inflation."

"We recommend raising the minimum threshold for gaining 10 points to £24,000 per annum, and raising the minimum threshold for gaining 15 points to £28,000 per annum," report said.

"Companies are even allowed to pay these workers offshore in foreign currencies, so intra company transfers are potentially very easy to exploit in order to bring cheap foreign labour into the UK," Ann Swain, chief executive of APSCo said in a recent statement.

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