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Brexit may trouble Indian IT professionals, say experts

Brexit may trouble Indian IT professionals, say experts
Image Source: Open Europe

While the unprecedented irreversible fate stares in the face of the UK after its citizens voted to leave the European Union, experts feel that Brexit could make lives difficult for Indian IT professionals.

A number of IT professionals migrate to the UK for fulfilling their dreams and a significant number of them find themselves moving between the UK and EU for work-related projects. Experts feel that the mobility of such workers will reduce once the exit is formal and that UK will push for restrictions on their migration to secure more jobs for Britons.

One of the things that drove people to vote to exit was to thwart immigration and free movement of workers, targeting in this case the migrants from the Eastern Europe and not Indian IT professionals as such, notes Akshay Chudasama, managing partner-Mumbai region in law firm Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co.

“But Indian IT professionals could move across the EU from one state to the other without restrictions. Breaking away from the EU will restrict the mobility of labour. The devil is in the details,” he said. There will be clarity on the larger implications on the sector once the exit is formal, he added.

Nishith Desai, founder and managing partner of law firm Nishith Desai Associates feels that UK will go in a protective mode to secure jobs for the Britons and may feel encouraged to bring rules to curb outsourcing.”They could impose additional restrictions and cost on Indian IT professionals going to UK on work. It will not only clamp down on free movement of skilled resources, but will aggravate protectionist fears”, he said.

According to Ajay Raghavan, partner-labour & employment in law firm Trilegal, said exit vote itself may not trigger immediate labour law changes in the UK and the implications will only be out after a lengthy negotiation process. However, he feels that the UK government might introduce a legislation to restrict movement of EU nationals in the UK since that is one of the reasons behind the exit vote.

“My understanding is that once a formal notice is served for the UK to withdraw from the EU, there will be a negotiation process of up to two years, possibly longer, to agree to the exit terms. Until that happens, all EU legislations, including the right to move freely in the EU, will continue to apply”, he said.

“If that happens, it will be more difficult for Indian employers with operations in EU to move employees from other parts of Europe to UK and vice versa. It’s important for Indian firms to start reassessing employee deployment strategies so they can prepare themselves for the eventual exit,” Raghavan said.
Meanwhile, the financial technology sector in the UK expects a big blow with the prospect of losing access to the European market. Reportedly, a number of British tech firms have held their expansion plans and are considering relocating strategically. How this will impact the employment scenario in the UK and for Indian IT professionals remains to be seen.
Source: ET

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