Intra company transfer abuse

Self-employed respond to tough new visa recommendations

What is it?

Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) permits allow companies to temporarily transfer specialist or senior staff between countries. They are meant to allow major companies to transfer essential, highly-skilled staff with ease.

What are the issues?

Because ICTs are not part of the Government’s ‘cap’ on immigration and companies do not have to check if an alternative UK worker is available before drafting in people on ICTs, they act as an immigration loophole.

Worse, although ICT workers are supposed to be paid the ‘going rate’ for their particular sector, a complex system of allowances means companies are able to abuse the system and under-pay them.

The reality is that many ICT workers are under-paid and exploited – used as cheap labour to undercut UK freelancers.

What we are doing

  • We ran a large-scale media campaign to raise awareness of abuses, appearing in national newspapers and on BBC Radio 4 and Five Live. In fact, the campaign was so successful it was shortlisted for the “Sector Representation Award” at the Trade Association Forum Best Practice Awards. 
  • IPSE also lobbies extensively on this issue, and we have met with a wide variety of senior civil servants and MPs, responded to consultations and supplied evidence to a number of Parliamentary committees.
  • Partly because of our efforts, the Government made several significant and positive changes to the immigration system in 2011, rectifying many of the problems we identified. In particular, ICT workers must now earn more than £40,000 if they are staying in the UK for more than a year.
  • After reporting the experiences of many of our members to a MAC consultation, we also helped to convince the Government to raise the minimum salary threshold to £41,500 from 2017. 

ICT abuse: report it

If you think you may have been directly displaced or replaced because of ICT abuse, let us know. Email us at policy@ipse.co.uk and use ‘ICT ABUSE’ in the subject line.