UK visa levy on biz may hit workers from India
The UK government plans to launch a consultation process on the introduction of a new visa levy on businesses that recruit overseas labour to fund extra apprenticeships for British and EU workers, a move that may affect workers being hired from non-EU countries like India.
The move was unveiled on Wednesday as part of a new Immigration Bill. The bill also announced the creation of a new enforcement agency to tackle the worst cases of worker exploitation as well as creating an <g data-gr-id="27">offense</g> of illegal working and enabling wages to be seized as the proceeds of crime. If the proposed visa levy is imposed it may have an impact on workers being hired from countries outside the EU like India.
It forms part of 26 new bills announced in the ceremonial Queen's Speech which marks the state opening of Parliament for a newly-elected UK government. The package also included the extremism bill, designed to "stop extremists promoting views and behaviour that undermine British values." The bill will include powers to "strengthen the role of regulator Ofcom so that tough measures can be taken against channels that broadcast extremist content".
Titled as a "One Nation" programme, Queen Elizabeth II read out the 26-bill package from her throne at the House of Lords as part of an elaborate royal tradition which involves a lot of pomp and ceremony. "My government will legislate in the interests of everyone in the country. It will adopt a one nation approach, helping working people get on, supporting aspiration, giving new opportunities to the disadvantaged and bringing different parts of our country together," she said.
British Prime Minister David Cameron described his first legislative programme as the head of a Tory government as an agenda for "working people", with three million more apprenticeships promised over the next five years and a new law to ensure the minimum wage remains tax free.