The plan – revealed by the Daily Mail – was offered to full-time FI Group staff who could point out self-employed contractors working for FI on the same site who could be replaced by employees working for the company’s Indian subsidiary, IIS Infotech.
In a memo, FI Group executive chairman Hilary Cropper CBE, described the bonus scheme as ‘ill-advised’ and confirmed that the offer had been withdrawn immediately.
According to the Mail, one contractor claimed permanent staff had been taken to one side, away from their self-employed colleagues, to be told of the bonus offer.
The Professional Contractors Group, which represents the interests of some 11,000 contractors, described the move as shameful and warned there was no legislation to prevent contractors being treated this way.
‘This shameful move by FI shows that the government’s ‘fast track’ visa scheme contains a massive loophole,’ said PCG chairman Gareth Williams.
‘Far from halting the skills shortage, this scheme is now being used for short-term cost saving by short-sighted companies, to the detriment of the UK’s small businesses and the country’s long term economic prospects,’ he added.
The PCG is best known for fighting the government’s controversial IR35 legislation which stripped many freelancers working through their own companies of previously held tax advantages.
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