As well as opposing the outsourcing of 900 technology jobs to India, which will see all BA’s “end-user” UK IT jobs exported to Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) in India, GMB is also accusing BA of flouting visa rules.
In fact, the union says BA has abused the rules on rolling Tier 2 visas, which are meant to be for when employers want to internally move a member of staff from one post to another.
Echoing the union’s concern, a Home Office-backed report says that possibly “at the expense of” UK IT workers, UK employers using Tier 2 may be “displacing and undercutting” them.
This potential “disadvantage” for Britons was found to most likely exist where the employer (the firm hosting the Tier 2), was involved with a third party or external contract or company.
In a statement, released yesterday, the GMB union accused BA and TCS of “abusing” current visa regulations regarding rolling Tier 2 visas.
A GMB spokesperson told Recruiter it understands TCS is using Tier 2 visas to move staff to the UK that are initially training alongside its members ahead of the eventual outsourcing of these roles to India. No information was provided on the number of jobs being outsourced.
The union added it plans to write to Sir David Metcalf, chairman of the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), and the Home Office requesting they clamp down on the alleged “abuses” by BA and TCS.
In January, the MAC issued a report in which it recommended raising the minimum annual salary threshold for workers brought to the UK on short-term intra-company transfers (of 12 weeks or less) from its current level of £24.8k to £41.5k. It argued that this would reduce the numbers brought into the UK via this route by Indian business process outsourcing companies such as TCS, who then hire out the workers to third-party clients, such as BA.