|"We are chefs, we've got the skills you need, Britain"|
Immigration restrictions are now the biggest problem faced by curry restaurateurs. David Cameron last year unveiled new measures to “significantly reduce” non-EU migration, a move that raised fresh fears about the businesses’ ability to bring in chefs.
Crucially, from April, restaurants that want to employ a chef from outside the EU will have to pay a minimum salary of £35,000 – or £29,750 with accommodation and food – in order for their employees to qualify for visas.
Oli Khan, vice-president of the Bangladesh Caterers Association, the largest of the many trade bodies claiming to represent the industry, is an award-winning chef who runs a curry house in Luton and two more in Stevenage. He pays his own chefs between £18,000 and £25,000, and warns that in future only the most successful restaurants will be able to absorb the latest wage rise.
“This is an inflexible policy that will force our costs up and inevitably lead to more curry restaurants going out of business,” he said. “Indian cooking is an art, yet we are being prevented from hiring the staff we need.”Source