Fresh hopoe for migrant workers

PUBLISHED: 12:47 30 January 2008 | UPDATED: 14:43 20 April 2010

FREE legal advice could help migrant workers keep their jobs in care homes around the Axe Valley. Professionals from all over the world faced deportation at the end of last year when Home Office regulations changed, driving out skilled foreign employees.

FREE legal advice could help migrant workers keep their jobs in care homes around the Axe Valley. Professionals from all over the world faced deportation at the end of last year when Home Office regulations changed, driving out skilled foreign employees. Senior care workers at the likes of Seaton's Check House - many of them Filipinos, who have relocated to East Devon for a new life -- suddenly saw work visas denied. New rulings over qualification requirements saw hundreds of jobs threatened. Ailya Veloso, 38, a Filipino staff nurse at Check House, said: "I have brought my family over here. "My child is in school and is adapting to English culture, so we can't just make him leave. "We didn't come just for ourselves; many people in the Philippines are relying on us to send money back. Seaton is our home now." New rules over pay of senior care workers saw homes struggling to afford overseas staff, as managers and owners faced the prospect of losing a reliable workforce. But a new year has brought fresh hope for workers with a furious public and political backlash leading to a relaxation on work visa rulings. Taunton-based Peter Frier has formed the UK Employer and Carers Group, and is now putting together support for a judicial review of the Home Office decision. Mr Frier said: "Our country invited these overseas workers and most of them gave up good, rare jobs in their own country. "They have also raised our standards of care, brought their families over and paid their taxes. "The Home Office has partly relented. "It is now offering us a new consultation period but individuals need to take action." The Group has now sided with Middlesex-based solicitors Aston Brooke for the judicial review and no-win, no-fee representation for overseas workers. Principal of Aston Brooke solicitors Kashif Majeed said: "The fact that the Secretary of State has now agreed to undertake a consultation is a victory for the entire health care sector. "This proves the government cannot simply implement policies without full consideration of the effects." The government's relaxation of rules has put the brakes on deportation, and allowed workers to switch jobs to earn the £7.02 per hour minimum needed to stay in the country without yet earning higher qualifications in care work. The government claim the stance over overseas work requirements balances British employment targets and the needs of care residents. For more information on rights for overseas workers contact Aston Brookes on (020) 8901 7901.

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