The UK government’s cap on non-EU migrants has won fewer supporters than ministers hoped. Initially thought to be an obvious crowd-pleaser, it has been met with a torrent of criticism from businesses of all sizes and in all sectors, not to mention cabinet ministers themselves.
One of the things that the oil and gas was most concerned about was the inclusion of intra-company transfers (ICTs) in the cap. This would effectively limit the ability of companies to import their own talent from elsewhere into the UK.
Shell was one of the most outspoken companies, issuing a stark warning:
Any restrictions on intra-company transfers would see projects relocated to our head office in the Netherlands or to the US.
Shell and others will be able to breathe a little easier on Tuesday. That is when Theresa May (pictured), the home secretary, announces her response to the report of the independent Migration Advisory Committee (Mac).
For while Mac suggested that ITCs should be included in the overall cap, Theresa May is likely to settle somewhere in between its advice and that of David Cameron, who said they should be largely, if not entirely, excluded.
May is likely to decide on a £40,000 salary level, under which ICTs will be included in the cap, but above which they will be excluded.
Considering that a report by PwC for Oil&Gas UK in 2008 found that the median salary for oil and gas workers was £44,444, this limit should not prove much of a problem for these companies and the workers they want to move around.