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UNITED KINGDOM | Home Office May Now Conduct Sponsor Checks at Third-Party Worksites

25 April 2017

On April 17, the British Home Office released an updated “Tiers 2 and 5: Guidance for Sponsors.” Causing concern among companies employing foreign workers in the UK, Paragraph 17.3 in the Compliance section now contains a broad statement providing the Home Office with authority to perform sponsor checks by visiting not only the sponsor’s place of business but also the places of business of third-parties where sponsored foreign workers are performing services. Paragraph 17.3 specifies that it is the sponsoring company’s duty to “ensure that the third party is aware of the possibility of the unplanned and unannounced visits and...

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Dozens of landlords fined after roll-out of new right to rent immigration checks

18 April 2017

Financial penalties totalling £37,000 were handed out in the first eight months after the Right to Rent scheme was rolled out across England, figures obtained by the Press Association reveal.

The fines were issued to 62 landlords between the start of February and end of September last year - a rate of around one every four days.

Right to Rent requires landlords or householders to establish that tenants or lodgers have a right to be in the country by taking copies of documents such as passports or identity cards.

Failure to comply can lead to fines of up to £3,000 a tenant, while...

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Vacancies and employment levels at record highs in UK

13 April 2017

Recent figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that the number of people in employment is at its highest level since 1971 and a record number of job vacancies are also being reported.

The total of people out of work in the UK has fallen to its lowest since 2006 with the employment rate equalling its highest figure since records began 46 years ago. Record numbers of job vacancies

Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on Wednesday also showed that a record number of vacancies were on the books. But, as anticipated, wage increases are beginning to fall behind inflation:...

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Helping expat children adjust to life abroad

13 April 2017

Child psychologist Kate Berger gives her top tips on how to make sure expat children settle in their new home.

It’s very easy to see expatriate children as lucky. Exposed to new and exciting experiences and cultures, these are children who have chance to see the world in a broader perspective than many of us. Also, unlike their parents who are usually busy adjusting to a new job, expatriate children can simply enjoy their new surroundings - right? Yet while there is no denying that expatriate children have certain invaluable opportunities, there can also be a big price to pay. What obstacles do...

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Post-Brexit trade deal with India 'worth extra £2 billion to British economy'

11 April 2017

Britain will be able to increase its exports to India by more than £2 billion per year after Brexit by cutting EU red tape, a new analysis has found.

The UK currently faces significant tariffs on its trade with India because of the European Union’s failure to agree a free trade deal.

The deal has been held up for a decade by European Union regulations on intellectual property and data protection, with which India is refusing to comply.

But after Britain leaves the EU, the deal can go ahead because British trade negotiators regard the disputed EU rules as unnecessary.

A report by the...

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Rental values slow as supply increases

10 April 2017

Rent asking prices so far in 2017 have slowed to their lowest level since the final quarter of 2014, following a significant increase in the number of available rental properties on the market, new figures reveal.

There has been a 12% rise in the volume of available rental properties listed on Rightmove compared to the corresponding period last year, placing downward pressure on annual asking rent growth across the UK, according to the property website.

The existing annual asking rent growth of 1.8% is the lowest since Q4 2014, and less than half the annual growth of 3.9% recorded a year ago...

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Business and education voice fears over apprenticeship levy

07 April 2017

The new levy, aimed at creating three million apprenticeships by 2020, requires all employers with an annual wage bill exceeding £3 million to pay 0.5 per cent of it towards funding the scheme.

But business groups object to the apprenticeship levy being introduced simultaneously with other, additional costs – such the new National Living Wage of £7.50 an hour and new reporting requirements on gender pay – while head teachers and lecturers have branded the levy a “back-door tax” on schools and colleges.

Prioritise quality not quantity

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) estimates the levy will cost companies £3 billion a year...

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Gender pay gaps must be declared by UK companies

06 April 2017

UK companies with 250 or more employees will have to publish their gender pay gaps within the next year under a new legal requirement. The move is part of attempts to fight workplace discrimination.

The UK gender pay gap of 18.1% for all workers, or 9.4% for full-time staff. Women and Equalities minister Justine Greening said “helping women to reach their full potential isn’t only the right thing to do, it makes good economic sense”.

Public, private and voluntary sector firms are now all required to disclose average pay for men and women, including any bonuses. About half of the UK workforce will be affected...

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Client money protection scheme to be mandatory for lettings agents in England

05 April 2017

Client Money Protection is to be mandatory of letting agents in England that handle client money in a move that the Government says will safeguard private sector rents paid by tenants to agents.

‘This will ensure that every agent is offering the same level of protection, giving tenants and landlords the financial protection that they deserve. The Government will now consult on how mandatory client money protection should be implemented and enforced,’ said Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Communities and Local Government.

He explained that the protection is needed because currently if an agent...

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Spain-UK row escalates over Gibraltar and Brexit

04 April 2017

Moves by the EU to offer Spain a veto over Gibraltar’s future trade relations with the bloc triggers fury in the UK.

Tensions are rising between the UK and Spain in a row over the future of Gibraltar, as the UK embarks on negotiations to leave the European Union.

The dispute escalated since the circulation of the EU’s draft Brexit negotiating guidelines on Friday appeared to offer Spain a right of veto over Gibraltar’s future trade relations with the bloc.

The move prompted fury in the UK, where ministers described it as “utterly unacceptable”.

A former leader of the UK’s Conservative party, Michael...

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Court case ruling may allow Britons to keep their EU citizenship and rights

03 April 2017

There are no existing legislation over whether the citizenship can be stripped from individuals whose nation is leaving the union.

Britons might be able to keep their EU citizenship and rights to live, work and claim healthcare across Europe, even if Theresa May walks out of the negotiations with no deal.

This could depend on the outcome of a legal case brought by four plaintiffs, who are seeking a ruling from the European Court of Justice over whether Article 50 can be revoked without the permission of other EU states.

The case, brought by the Good Law Project, is an attempt...

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