It’s ironic that anybody who complains about the abuse of the Tier2 and ICT visa system is automatically labelled a racist.
Ironic because what we’re actually fighting for is for migrant workers to be paid the going rate for the role they are in and for the method of engagement.
In other words we are trying to stop corporate and institutional racism from being used as a tool to erode working pay and conditions for all – including migrant workers.
Solve that problem and all the other problems and corruption will fade away.
In a recent “Holding answer” the Immigration Minister admits that
The MAC found that salaries for these transferees were clustered around the 25th percentile of earnings for resident workers in IT occupations (the current minimum permitted under the immigration rules).
In other words – most IT migrant workers are being paid the absolute bare minimum allowed by law.
When you consider that in order to be eligible for a visa Tier2 migrants are supposed to be filling a skills gap and are also supposed to be highly skilled; then there is something seriously wrong with a system that allows these people to be paid little more than the going rate for a trainee simply because they are migrant workers.
Ruth Cadbury poses a poignant question :
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the effect Tier 2 migration is having on the (a) pay and (b) terms and conditions of UK employees.
It is interesting that her question appears to elude to our own core issue that the pay and working conditions that are imposed onTier2 migrants are sufficiently bad for somebody working in the UK as to erode the basic pay and terms and conditions of all UK employees.
To this we add our own protest that
All Tier2 and ICT migrants working in the UK should be paid the going UK rate for the job they are doing and for the method of engagement. They should be afforded the same working rights and this should be rigorously enforced.
We would add that no Tier2 migrant should be allowed to opt out of the working time directive as this can lead to workplace abuses.
We would also add that processes should be put in place to police and enforce payments, and working conditions and that the cost of these regulators should be borne by the company sponsoring the visas.
(We have ourselves been approached directly for help by Tier2 migrants who have not been paid and who have been denied help by HMRC and other regulators – those details were passed on to the authorities and to the Immigration Minister)
Next we would add that Tier2 migrants who have not been paid the going rate should have their pay adjusted and back dated and that the UK government should impose sanctions and penalties on the organisations responsible for this.
Finally, any resident worker who has lost or been denied work because of the abuse of the Tier2 visa system should also be compensated.
After all, in the words of the Immigration Minister:
The immigration rules, and UK employment law, do not allow workers to be made redundant and directly replaced.
Indeed, by ensuring that Tier2 migrants are not abused with low pay and illegal working conditions; then the abuse of the Tier2 visa system which is used predominantly to provide cheap labour will be stopped.
It is widely accepted that those people who complain about the replacing or denial of UK workers with cheap migrant labour are not themselves racist but are instead complaining about racist legislation that permits migrant workers to accept pay and terms and conditions that are so bad by comparison that corporations and even the small one man bands can make millions by using and abusing these people instead of employing the willing and able pool of resident (multi-ethnic) UK workers.
This is not about individual migrants but about a culture of racism that allows migrants to be paid less than UK workers just because they are migrants.
And it has dominated the landscape to such an extent that it has changed the face of IT in both the UK and USA.