U.K. retains restrictions on East European workers

Tough new powers will also make it easier to deport any European convicted of drugs, violent or sexual offences
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 06/04/2009

Britain has opted to retain strict restrictions on East Europeans and introduce tougher powers to remove those not complying with the Worker Registration Scheme in order to preserve jobs for local workers during the recession.

Workers affected by the restrictions are those from the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia.

Anyone from the eight countries who is not self-sufficient, working or studying will not be allowed to stay, the Home Office (interior ministry) said in a statement.

Tough new powers will also make it easier to deport any European convicted of drugs, violent or sexual offences after the interior ministry cut the deportation referral threshold.

The government made the decision following independent advice from theMigration Advisory Committee (MAC), which said the restrictions wereneeded to preserve jobs for local workers.

Unemployment hit a12-year high in March, topping the two-million mark, during one of themost severe downturns since the 1930s Depression.

Immigration has become a hot issue in Britain after it became the only big European Union country to let citizens of new member states work without restriction when the bloc added 10 mainly Eastern European members in 2004.

The restrictions will remain in place until 2011.

Reuters

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