Bulgarian and Romanian workers to get standard rights to work and live in UK from December 2013
The Home Secretary Theresa May has confirmed that the current restrictions for both Bulgarian and Romanian workers will be removed from December 2013.
It is likely other political parties will encourage the conservatives to keep the restrictions (to help protect UK workers), however, there is no current legal basis to do so – that does not mean they will not try to find one though. And Theresa May has confirmed that the UK is working with other EU member states to restrict abuse of the ‘free movement’ – presumably she means health tourism and other real or perceived fraud.
What should the announcement mean in practice.
- It will mean the end of the Yellow / Blue card regime.
- It will mean you can be employed, without restriction.
- There will be no further need for student restrictions.
- It should be easier to get National Insurance card.
- It should be easier to access the benefit system.
What impact would that have on our services.
- We do not get involved in the immigration or student side, so part 1 and 3 is not relevant.
- If people are employed full or part time, some of our services, like, tax returns might not be needed as your taxes will be paid via the PAYE system, via employment agent or directly via a company. However if you do two or more jobs at the same time, self-assessment tax returns will still be necessary.
- Parts 4 and 5. Our services are based around both translation, and knowledge of the system. It is not likely that will change much, and with the introduction of Universal credit the system might well get more complex and confusing, before it gets easier.
What impact on you.
- We suspect, that although the rule changes will in theory make life easier for you, it might not necessarily be the case. Why;
- There will be further pressure on the government to limit access to the benefit system, housing, health etc.
- Although you could in theory be ‘employed’, many companies will use agencies to ensure that you are never considered an employee, as that would mean you have significant employment rights. The more European employment law protects workers rights, the less full time permanent work there may be.
- If more people come to the UK, it will create more competition for jobs in industries you work.
- We suspect, that although there are some small set up costs involved in becoming self-employed, for many people, will still be the preferred option. Why;
- Working for minimum wage through an agency is not very profitable. And living in London on the minimum wage is not possible unless you are living in an overcrowded house, or able to access the benefit system.
- Being transferred between employers every three months by an agency might not be very desirable. Better to move from one self-employed contract to another, and have some control of where, when and who you are working for.
- There are some significant tax benefits associated with self-employment. There are further benefits associated with setting up a limited company.
- The difficulty of having several part-time jobs paid on a PAYE basis, and then still having the issue of having self-assessment forms required.
In conclusion, we will have to wait and see what the true impact proposed changes will have. Good Start Consultancy will change with the times and continue to offer you the best solutions to your situation and needs.