By Marcus Leach

The House of Commons Public Accounts Committee has published its report on the Points Based System (PBS) for immigration. The report is based on evidence given by the Home Office and UK Border Agency and examines the management of the PBS work routes.

Much of the report focuses on the intra-company transfer (ICT) system whereby multi-national employers can bring workers from outside the European Economic Area to their UK offices.

The report suggests that a number of these employers are potentially displacing UK workers with IT skills. In addition, the report says that although this route is not capped and is instead regulated by a certain income threshold, many companies are circumventing this by using allowances to falsely inflate a reported salary.

Commenting on the issue, Gillian Econopouly, Recruitment and Employment Confederation Head of Public Policy said:

“Fundamentally, the immigration system needs to be flexible to business and this includes the ability to bring senior internal people across from other countries in order to lead projects and create more jobs. The exemption for ICTs is a sensible step in this regard, which the REC has long supported.

“However, if the exemption is not properly policed and implemented there is the potential for abuse. The minimum salary of £40,000 must be rigorously enforced by the UK Border Agency to ensure employers do not use allowances to create an artificial salary that allows them to bring in an overseas worker to do a job for less money.”