Thursday, 9 April 2009

UKIP candidate slams immigration laws

UKIP candidate in the Eastern Region, Andrew Smith, criticized UK immigration laws stating they are a minefield for innocent employers.

UKIP strongly supports the use of a points based work permits system for foreign workers from anywhere coming to the UK so that we can let in those with key skills needed while protecting our community services from unbearable population increases of low-skilled and unskilled workers at a time of rising unemployment.

A recent Employment Appeal Tribunal ruling (Osborne Clarke Services v Purohit) held that employers may not reject non-EU foreign job applicants who have not got permission to work in the UK when they make an application. Selection in this way in an over-supplied labour market was ruled unlawful racial discrimination.

Meanwhile, the Home Office warns employers of tougher tests for tier 1 and tier 2 immigrants from non-EU countries. Employers can face unlimited fines if they employ illegal workers, so they need to make sure that no one they employ is working in the UK illegally.

Confusing immigration and employment laws are creating additional overheads on employers and delays for employees at a time they both need as much leeway as possible to secure the future employment of British workers at all levels.

Mr Smith noted “If we were a Self-Governing Country, outside the EU, we could have sensible immigration and employment laws which protect workers while providing the skills needed in the economy.”

He drew attention to the 40% growth in Employment Tribunal claims for 2007/08, many of which resulted from the EU Working Time Directive and other legislation which creates tension between employers and employees who generally want to conduct themselves helpfully and responsibly.