UK workforce
British firms employing non-EU workers will face 1,000 pound surcharge. Picture: Workers are seen in office windows in the financial district of Canary Wharf in London 3 November, 2015.Reuters

Firms in the United Kingdom wanting to hire non-European Union (EU) nationals will have to pay a surcharge of £1,000 per employee every year. Britain's Migration Advisory Commission (MAC) reportedly gave the example of the Indian IT sector to place restrictions on transferring employees to Britain via the Intra-Transfer Company (ICT) route.

Indian companies such as Tata Consultancy Services, Wipro and Infosys are most likely to be affected by the changes in the work-related Tier-2 visa, Hindustan Times said.

The committee also recommended increasing the salary threshold of British employers who wanted to hire non-EU workforce.

"Immigration is not serving to increase the incentives to employers to train and upskill the UK workforce. Ready access to a pool of skilled IT professionals in India is an example of this. We do not see any substantive evidence of long-standing reciprocal arrangements whereby UK staff is given the opportunity to gain skill, training and expertise in India," the MAC report was quoted as saying by Press Trust of India in its findings.

The new surcharge would be applicable for a three-year visa period, which means £1,000 would be charged every year. Increasing the cost of hiring foreign workforce would encourage British employers to invest more in training UK workers.

"We are grateful to the Migration Advisory Committee for its report. We are considering the findings and will respond in due course," a UK Home Office spokesperson told Press Trust of India.

According to reports, in the year ending in September 2015, the committee noted that Indians were receipts of the largest number of tier-2 visas, with IT workforce accounting for 90% of the visas being issued.

Last year, British Prime Minister David Cameron had commissioned the MAC review committee to reduce migration to the UK. The new restrictions recommended by the committee are in line with the aim. The British government is expected to adopt the committee's recommendations soon.

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