Extension of employment restrictions
Controls to restrict how Bulgarian and Romanian nationals access the UK labour market are to be extended until the end of 2013. This means Romanian and Bulgarian (EU2) nationals seeking to work in the UK will continue to require permission from the UK Border Agency before they can work in the UK.
A report from the independent Migration Advisory Committee looked at the impact on the domestic labour market if the transitional controls were removed. It found that lifting the current restrictions could cause more EU2 nationals to come to the UK to work, particularly in lower skilled occupations where there is greater risk of displacement of resident workers and a negative impact on wages.
Permission to work will normally be given only where the worker has a specific job offer and the work is in skilled employment for which the employer has been unable to find a suitably qualified resident worker. There are also quota-based arrangements for lower skilled jobs in the agricultural and food processing sectors which will stay at the same level for 2012 and 2013.
The extension of the restrictions does not affect the position of those who have already been authorised to take employment in the UK.