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Written Parliamentary Question: 13th December 2006

Highly-skilled Migrant Programme
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people in the UK who qualify to work under the highly-skilled migrant programme scheme will fail to have their qualification renewed unless they find a job paying them more money. (John Hemming)

A:Information of this kind is not available. In order to qualify for further leave to remain as a highly skilled migrant under the new rules, applicants must now meet robust points criteria based on their qualifications, previous earnings, age and UK experience. It will also be mandatory for applicants to demonstrate a good standard of English language. The salary an applicant needs to reach for their previous earnings in order to qualify for a Highly Skilled Migrant programme extension will depend on the points awarded against the other criteria.

I have also announced transitional arrangements to avoid disadvantaging those who fail to meet the new requirements but are making a useful contribution to the UK. Those working in a skilled job, but who do not meet the new criteria, will be allowed to switch into work permit employment.
(Liam Byrne, Minister of State, Home Office)

Consultant Fees
To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether fees due to a consultant on a full-time contract to an NHS hospital for reports are paid to (a) the NHS and (b) the consultant. (John Hemming)

A:'Fee Paying Services' are covered by schedule 10 of the Consultant Contract (2003) Terms and Conditions of Service. 'Fee Paying Services' include the provision of specialist medical reports.

Schedule 11 of the Consultant Contract (2003) Terms and Conditions of Service sets out the principles governing the receipt of fees for such services. It provides that the consultant should remit any fees to his/her employer when carrying out fee-paying work for other organisations during national health service time, unless the work involves minimal disruption and the employer agrees that it may be done in NHS time without the employer collecting the fee.

For fee-paying work carried out in the consultant's own time, the consultant can retain the fee.

The 2003 Consultant Contract was designed to clarify the NHS commitment and private practice commitment, and to provide stronger guarantees that private practice would not disrupt provision of NHS services or detract from NHS performance. Under the new arrangements, there is much greater transparency about consultants' contractual commitments to the NHS, and clear guidelines on private work. (Ivan Lewis, Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of Health)

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