Up to one thousand non-EU Senior Carers employed by Southern Cross will be forced to leave the UK, unless the Border and Immigration Agency backs down on minimum pay ruling, according to Chief Executive Philip Scott.
Although in-country Work Permit holders extending their permits do not have to meet these guidelines, employers are being forced to pay a new minimum rate of £7.02 per hour or £14600 per annum.
Non-EU Workers priced out of the market – Southern Cross
The company argues that this would be a significant increase and that:
“The enforced pay increase would need to be paid to all Senior Care Staff not just those from non–EU countries. This clause has effectively priced non-EU workers out of the market”.
Southern Cross, which employs 41000 people and is currently advertising vacancies for Senior Carers, says that 450 overseas workers are immediately affected, but adds that as many as 1000 will face similar problems.
Mr Scott said:
“I don’t think the Home Office really appreciates the impact this change will have on our staff and the people they look after.
From a company perspective, the additional caveat of the increased salary effectively prevents us from recruiting outside Europe. This wouldn’t be a problem if we could recruit for this role from within the UK or indeed the EU. However it is a sad reflection of the times that people from these countries simply no longer want to fulfil these roles”.
The full statement and interview can be viewed at: http://www.schealthcare.co.uk/latest_news.php
This statement will come as no surprise to regular readers acutely aware of the misery the BIA’s decision is causing all over the UK. Every day we receive dozens of letters from Work Permit holders desperately worried about their future.
Henry Lazaras, a Filipino Senior Carer working at a Southern Cross home in Manchester, is one of the many facing deportation after the BIA refused his Work Permit renewal.
His employer has rejected Henry’s request to pay the extra needed to get the decision overturned, leaving him with little choice but to return home to his native Philippines, where jobs are low paid and few and far between.
Henry told me:
“When they heard the news from the Home Office had refused my Work Permit renewal, all the resident’s relatives wrote a letter to the local MP to support my case.
“But Southern Cross did nothing about this. All they said was to leave the country. I’m really upset and my future is a question mark and my family is devastated by this news. I feel like as if I have done something wrong to this country and people, all I have done is to care for the elderly people.”
Henry, and the other doomed workers at Southern Cross, represent the ‘tip of the iceberg’, and many thousands more will follow unless the Government takes a more practical view on the minimum salary issue.
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