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back to article Immigrants face £49k wage minimum to stay

Officials checking immigrants' payslips to decide which skilled workers can settle in the UK may have to choose those with salaries of at least £49k. A new set of recommendations from the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) suggest that immigration authorities should take into account how much immigrants are paid when deciding …

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Outrageous

How is an employer going to get decent IT staff for reasonable rates? This will mean paying well over £25 a hour if they are non resident.

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Perhaps....

....through training, educating, and contracting workers properly...?

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Anonymous Coward

Ok...

..how about employing UK staff?

lets face it enough have been laid off in the last 3 years....

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FAIL

Above.

@ Atonnis Perhaps....through training, educating, and contracting workers properly...?

So they can leave for more money?

@ Anonymous Coward Ok... ..how about employing UK staff?

Because they want too much money. Where is this going to come from with company accounts stretched to the limit paying for the more important things?

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Mushroom

@Technophobe -- apt handle!

"Where is this going to come from with company accounts stretched to the limit paying for the more important things?"

Well, if IT staff is not that important to you, don't pay them that much. Pay what you believe is reasonable. Then when nobody wants the job, take a look at what your IT staff actually do and get it through your thick head that you get what you pay for.

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Ah the pesky free market, and how it causes prices to find their own level! And it would be so much easier if slavery hadn't been outlawed.

You must really hate Adam Smith and William Wilberforce.

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Well Played Sir!

Titus Technophone I tip my hat to you...this has to be one of more successful trolling posts of the morning, based on the frothing and foaming at the mouth it generated.

Well Played Sir indeed!

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As if the name wasn't obvious enough to give the game away.

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WTF?

Hire local or exceptional

£25 an hour is slave labor for any quality IT staff. I don't know what kind of IT staff you're hiring, but if you want cheap assed labor willing to work for what you're willing to pay, then I promise you that you'll need twice or thrice the number of IT workers which will cost you a hell of a lot more even if you're picking them out of soup kitchens.

Be more selective about who you hire and get less people who are more qualified and more dependable.

£25 an hour... wow... that's barely more than McDonalds pays for the guys flipping burgers here in Norway.

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Anonymous Coward

@Titus Technophobe

"Well over £25 per hour"? So you mean you'd be paying industry standard wages?

Sucks to you. well, sucks to be your employees anyway.

Avg of £250-£400 a day for IT workers depending on field.

That means standard for UK is £31.25-£50 per hour.

This is a great start but if the govt really wants to raise funds AND improve UK labour market then start taxing offshore contracts as imports.

But the big concern is employers that behave like this tend to end up employing untalented inexperienced staff, making up the short fall with contractors (who are contractors because they are fed up competing for work at low pay with bedroom pc users).

The end result is usually shoddy systems that can't perform basic tasks and have poorly thought out processes and user journeys. Actually, when I think about it, cleaning up that mess is what keeps me in work at £35-50 ph...

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@titus cratchett

"Because they want too much money. Where is this going to come from with company accounts stretched to the limit paying for the more important things?"

2 things:

1.By what percentage is your salary higher than that of your employees? (I mean real salary including dividends and expenses)

2.If you have a company that is struggling so hard to make enough money to employ people then is your company performing or failing?

If you think there are things more important than your staff salaries then you either have a business that doesn't need staff or you have a failure of priority.

As it happens salaries in the UK are dismally low compared with the cost of living. But I bet you weren't complaining when you cashed the cheques on the house you sold, got breaks on VAT or increased your cost to customer.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go and beg for another lump of coal to put on the fire at Christmas.

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Re: Above.

What causes me bitter laughter is the last government's dual track policies of a) immigration, because immigration is good for business and brings in well educated specialists, and b) education, education, education. The former course of action swelled our population by some 7.27%; while the latter course of action was supposed to swell the number of professionals we have (remember the lead time is now definitely swallowed up by 14 or more years of edjcation, edjacation, edjcation) and still we have problems with shortages of professionals. The previous government either lied or did not know WTH it was doing to this country, though I'm not yet suggesting this one is necessarily an improvement.

Aside from anything else, this country is one of the most densely populated in an overpopulated world; it is not self sufficient in food and energy, and we have recently seen increases in water shortages, especially where rivers have run dry and farmers have not been able to use them for irrigation purposes.

Too many people. Too many idiot politicians.

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Linux

Above

@ adifferentbob

Slavery never mind Wilberforce ….. dammit a tear fell from my eye when the barbary pirates ceased trading

@ KrisMac Thank you …… git :) I was going to go onto highlight ‘the more important things for which company accounts were stretched to the limit’. But you have blown my cover, and nobody fell for that one …. Thoughts along those lines were cheesy nibbles (hey champagne is so boring without), executive motors, and so on.

@ CheesyTheClown ….. pause…. Sorry for the delay in the reply just booking my ticket for Oslo, please tell me there is a McDonalds local to the Airport?

@ AC 09:44 GMT ‘……..then start taxing offshore contracts as imports.’ Tell me it is so, please, they can have my vote every time, perhaps they could surcharge the foreign call centres, and cold calling phone calls at the same time.

‘…..about it, cleaning up that mess is what keeps me in work at £35-50 ph…’ Hmm yes you would think management would notice this one either in the first place, maybe by the 3rd or 4th time, but they don’t. Oh well. On the one hand it is annoying when your job goes off to sunnier shores, on the other is the cheery thought that in a couple years there is going to be twice as much work.

@ AC 09:45 GMT Answers 1. 0 % 2. performing or failing? …. Surviving just about

‘….more important than your staff salaries…..’ Can I suggest paper clips, the biscuits with that really solid chocolate topping, executive bidets?

‘….complaining when you cashed the cheques on the house you sold, got breaks on VAT or increased your cost to customer’ The house I haven’t got, VAT breaks would be nice, increase my cost to the customer mmmmmmmm (whoops gotta stop day dreaming)

‘….for another lump of coal….’ Get me some logs while you out and about.

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Coffee/keyboard

made me laugh thanks.

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Anonymous Coward

Salary is not such a good measure of usefulness

I hope this rule doesn't force Russian "rocket scientists" to take up boring programming jobs for London-based banks just so they can reach the magic salary threshold.

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Then salary is being improperly defined/applied...

as its entire point is to be a direct reflection of employees' usefulness.

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To a certain extent, that is missing the point. Employee usefulness is only part of what determines one's wage. If you happen to work in an industry which is not as profitable - your wage will be lower, even if you are useful or talented. I think that's what the poster above was hinting at - some industries which are more profitable (banks and financials among others) will be able to pay higher wages. That doesn't automatically mean that their contribution is more important to society then other industries which are not as cash flush as them.

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But isn't that the point of the higher wage, so as to draw the useful worker towards the more profitable sector of the economy? Define for me "importance to society" outside of essential services? The tax dollars (or pounds) and incomes recirculated through the economy from high income financials have proved incredibly useful in providing the benefits (rightly or wrongly) to other parts of society. Manufacturing may be important, but someone has to buy the goods.

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FAIL

Utter rubbish

So a CEO on $100m a year is like 3000 times more useful than the workers who work in his company? You really believe that there is anybody on this planet who is even 10 times more useful than someone else?

Pay has nothing anymore to do with usefulness, responsibility or ability, especially not at the CEO level. It is purely do to with how much you can screw out of your employer.

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Anonymous Coward

@Mark 65

The tax dollars (or pounds) and incomes recirculated through the economy from high income financials have proved incredibly useful in providing the benefits (rightly or wrongly) to other parts of society. Manufacturing may be important, but someone has to buy the goods.

I thought it was the greed and abuse of privilage excersized by high income financials that got this whole mess started.

Capitalism is one giant pyramid scheme and is behaving entirely within the model. (think pension scheme?)

If you were in for the 80s and recruited new memebers then you're made, if you're in it now and trying to sell the product you're screwed.

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"some industries which are more profitable (banks and financials among others)"

Please tell my employer this :P

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@ZWEIBLUMEN

Yes there are people who are ten times more useful than others. Even within the same profession, eg software developers, there are some who just work harder, know more, have more enthusiasm, keep learning, take a more intelligent approach.

I've worked with people who have developed entire new products in their spare time. And people who take 25 days off sick every year because they consider it part of their annual leave. Easily a factor of ten in usefulness.

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Anonymous Coward

Citizenship?

"Those earning above that will get automatic UK citizenship"

Really? Do you actually mean something like permanent or indefinite residence? Because that's not the same thing and "citizenship" isn't mentioned on that UK Border Agency bulletin.

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Lecturers due for a pay rise then

Alternatively we could close down a lot of science depts

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Lecturers - not really

A lot of lecturers are in that bracket already

However if this is enforced Babraham, Sanger, MRC to name a few will definitely close. Abingdon, etc will closely follow.

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Headmaster

"a lot of lecturers are in that bracket already"

I don't think you've ever looked at uni payscales if you write that.

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Indeed

You'd have to get to point 3 or above on the _top_ pay band at this uni to get over £49k.

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Anonymous Coward

I work in a UK university. The minimum wage for a lecturer here is £31,000.

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Oh great, an influx of more pointless senior managers who will no doubt continue the tradition of awarding themselves hefty bonuses for overseeing pitiful financial failure. Just what we need.

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Anonymous Coward

Sorry El Reg, but you forgot to clarify a point to your none UK readers. Is the annual salary of 49k quids considered a high salary? Or is it something you would expect an accountant to make, or even a taxi driver?

finding the US$ or Euro equivalent isn't what I am asking about, but the actual value of the money!

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re:

49,000 quid is about 78,000 US dollars, or twice the average salary in the UK. Roughly speaking - but it's hard to tell these days what with salaries and the job market going up and down like a yoyo - £49k is a good start for an established programmer.

C.

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Quite high

Average UK Salary is £26,000 (£33,000 for an average household) higher for London and lower for certain deprived areas.

£49k is around what you'd expect a senior manager in a non-financial firm* to earn in London - accoring to the Institute for Fiscal Studies in 2008, £49k puts you in the top 10% of earners.

(* City boys & girls get more)

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@diodesign

Let me rephrase that.

"£49k is a fucking good start for an established programmer."

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Average? What's the use of that?

Average UK salary is a meaningless thing, 9 people earn almost nothing 1 is super-superrich --- on average all 10 are superrich.

Median salary is more like £20.5K [of course England is richer than Wales, NI, Scotland; strongly biased by the 4million working in London; numbers e.g. via http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Income_in_the_United_Kingdom ], so we're speaking close to 2.5x median as a requirement.

--

This law seems impractical, as it would be only fair to apply it to all inhabitants. So a policeman with 20years of experience goes on a week of holidays, comes back, is denied entry -- far below the 49K mark. Three privates come back from a tour of duty, one is let in (their combined incomes just scrape over the mark).

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Re: @diodesign

"£49k is a fucking good start for an established programmer."

Define 'established'. I've got 20 years experience and I wouldn't consider anything under £70k. (And there are plenty of jobs around that pay that and more.)

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'"£49k is a fucking good start for an established programmer."

Define 'established'. I've got 20 years experience and I wouldn't consider anything under £70k. (And there are plenty of jobs around that pay that and more.)'

What planet are you guys on? I've over 15 years' experience in IT and I've never been paid anything like £49K, never mind 70.

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There are jobs which pay £70K, but it is hardly the norm, even with 20 years experience. You normally earn amounts like that if you have a rare and valuable skill set which is in demand.

Work like that will often dry up at some point, so if you are lucky enough to have it I would get your mortgage paid off and put a bit away. Then if you ever end up back on £40K you can be philosophical about it.

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I wish!

£49k? Yes please! Hell even £30k would be step up right now...

Don't worry, the UK positions are still being advertised for silly money. For the past 3 weeks I've been emailed the same job vacancy a few times for a local 3rd line "buck stops here" support role for £22-24K. The latest iteration of the advert is offering £23-£26k.

Remember kids - there is a shortage of IT staff in the UK, so train hard then reap the rewards! Oh and don't forget to relearn everything you do every 2 years otherwise you're on the scrap heap!

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49K

Rules out pretty much most looking to be Research Scientists who currently hold a Phd then.

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Sportspeople

If someone in sports earns less than £49K you can probably have a pretty good guess how talented they are.

(Unless they are in some obscure type of sport which doesn't have many fans, in which case what is the value in letting them in anyway).

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Anonymous Coward

Does this mean

that all the useless Indian 'onshore coordinators' and 'developers' that get shipped over are going to be paid twice as much as the people babysitting them?

Or is there going to be some kind of loophole?

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Anonymous Coward

that all the useless Indian 'onshore coordinators' and 'developers' that get shipped over are going to be paid twice as much as the people babysitting them?

The loophole is they won't be settling so they use a different visa.

That or they stay offshore and use VOIP.

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Anonymous Coward

I assume they are paid peanuts, and never 'officially' work in the country, so no tax either. Presumably they are employed and paid in a different country, and their physical location has very little relevance to the whole thing.

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London weighting

We've had issues with this in the past, where we were faced with 3 options:

- giving the employee a 5 figure pay rise (which we couldn't afford / justify)

- the employee being booted out of the country (after 8.5 years here, including 5 at Uni)

- the employee moving to London were the pay level can be achieved (which they did)

The annoying thing is, if you go into the details, it includes any London weighting in your salary, so if a government department says £30k nationwide == £36k London, and the cut off is £33k, the guy working in Manchester/Leeds/wherever doesn't qualify, but the guy in London does.

And as the target salaries are based on a national average, that are skewed by London salaries, the non-London jobs are always going to fall below the limit.

Seems very badly thought through, putting non-London firms at the disadvantage that any foreign potential employees can't work for them, and meaning that there will be very little immigration into these cities of workers (just fuelling the right wing low opinion of foreigners).

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SADLY.....

THERE are loopholes, rather than employ in this country staff are seconded from abroad on short and long term contracts but paid in their home country in local currency.

It is still a question of economics, quality at cheaper cost is always better for business.

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Is this so we can import tube train drivers then ?

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Will any of the £49k earners be deported when their accountant manages to show HMRC they only earn £20k?

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Who on earth are the ConDems trying to persuade to come here? More city and management wankers? Cos that's what they're going to get.

Knowledge based economy, my arse!

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The Usual Tabloid Politics About Immigration

Typical bloody right wing.

Sorry. Typical bloody left wing too. It's one area in which... Sorry, it's one of the areas in which they are all as bad as each other.

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FAIL

Re: The Usual Tabloid Politics About Immigration

"Sorry. Typical bloody left wing too. It's one area in which... Sorry, it's one of the areas in which they are all as bad as each other."

It is unwise to so typify opposition to increasing the population of one of the most densely populated countries in an over populated world. We are not self sufficient in food (production decreased by 5% since the cold war 'ended'), we are not self sufficient in energy (which is a dwindling resource), we are not self sufficient in fertilisers (peak phosphate has been passed, and Morocco is the main producer), and our water resources are subject to drought, both because of over consumption and because of climate change. Thus we have increasingly lower reservoirs, and we find that farmers are increasingly not allowed to use river water for irrigation purposes.

Worse still, by continually building more houses and the support systems these require (roads, shops, hospitals, car parks [...]) we further restrict the trickle down of water into underground aquifers at the same time as increasing the probability of flooding, of which we have seen a lot of late.

We were overpopulated at the beginning of the last century.

As to being 'typically left wing', it is not; even after the last election, when they were under no illusions about the opposition to their immigration policies, Labour conference attenders were remarking on their disappointment that the agenda was not more 'internationalist', that they wanted to see more immigration. That's left wing for you; rooted in fantasy island thinking, rather than based on the reality that we have to reduce the population of this world, and thus of the more densely populated parts of it, or we will die due to over consumption of resources.

Demonising people by describing their opposition to their country being over populated as attributable to a political view is not merely politically dangerous (because the implication is that they are racist) but is also dangerous in terms of the survival of a national group:

"[...] in my view, mass migration and the management of immigration is now the greatest challenge facing all European governments. We have to get away from the notion that anyone who wants to talk about this issue is somehow a racist; they are not, they are intelligent, ordinary people who are interested in the future of their own country"

Dr John Reid, UK Home Secretary, in a speech at DEMOS on 9 August, now gone from the cache but partly quoted here:

http://www.civitas.org.uk/cohesion/immigration.php

I have yet to see anyone offer any kind of a priori or a posteriori proof that opposition to immigration is racist, 'right wing'. It appears to me to be thoughtless, when thought is very definitely the order of the day. Otherwise, for catch all thinking, -11 out of 10

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