News Archive - September 2012

Business start-ups tackling UK work permit restrictions

10 Sep 2012 | Posted by Carl Thomas

New start-ups are increasingly finding themselves facing difficulties when it comes to hiring new employees due to the UK work permit restrictions imposed by the government.

In fact, some smaller companies find that UK immigration problems are one of the biggest obstacles facing their company at the moment. This has come as something of a surprise due to the current media attention on other areas of red tape.

Michael Fallon, business minister, recently stated that of the more than 20,000 regulations covering business, only 6,500 really have an impact. With this in mind, he noted, the government is looking at a target of cutting or reducing 3,000 regulations by ther end of 2013.

"It is the first time we have ever had a target like that," he remarked. "Governments have talked about cutting red tape before; we are serious about this."

However, it appears the promise is only going to have an effect on certain specific areas of business. For others, UK immigration problems are a much bigger problem.

Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Alistair Hill, co-founder of On Device Research, said that he struggled to think of any serious red tape he had encountered. "Setting up the company was simple, [I] went online and pushed a few buttons," he remarked.

However, hiring people from outside of the EU was another matter: "We wanted to hire someone who had an MBA and a stats degree from Brazil," he stated.

"It was utterly stupid. She had the operational experience, the maths and the business acumen to be the ideal employee for us," Mr Hill clarified. "If there was one thing I could change it would be this. It is utterly insane we can’t hire people from non-EU countries easily."

Mr Fallon’s response claimed that there is provision to bring overseas workers in but highlighted that the government’s focus is elsewhere on this matter: "There is an overall target to get immigration down – and we are committed to that. The business department can’t escape its responsibility – we are all committed to reduce the overall total on immigration."