The Deportation Blues

I can mention this now since it's all over the business news in the UK and not exactly a secret. My employer, Pipex, may be up for sale. BT (British Telecom) now has regulatory approval to buy us but Virgin Media is also very interested. Other companies such as Orange and Carphone Warehouse are also said to be sniffing around. The reasons for this are rather complex, so I won't go into details, but it's quite possible that the company I work for might get sold.

Best case scenario for me: we don't get sold or they only sell the broadband division that I don't work in. It's quite possible that the company will only sell a portion of it's business. If the division I work in isn't sold, I'm fine. If the division I work in is sold, things get tricky and I've had trouble finding answers as to what happens to me.

If I lose my job, I have 28 days to find another one or else I have to leave the country. My work permit is tied to my employer and if that employer changes, a new permit must be issued. That's where things get murky. In the UK, if a company is purchased, the purchasing company must abide by existing employment contracts. However, all the new company has to do is be slow in applying for my work permit and I'm screwed. So if the division I'm in is purchased, I have a quandary. Do I risk it and assume they'll apply for a permit in time? Do I immediately apply for other jobs?

I now have one solid job offer in London, another one in Amsterdam, and two more companies which have asked me to contact them in the event my situation changes. Obviously, I've no desire to leave the UK as I'm hoping to get permanent residency over here, and possibly citizenship after five years. Moving to mainland Europe would make that harder (unless a company throws a wife into the deal, I suppose). Frankly, I just don't want to leave my current employer.

Things have finally settled down at my work and the division I'm in is showing awesome results. The testing systems are finally large enough to catch problems before customers see them and I work with two very bright programmers. We don't always see eye to eye (which is a good thing), but I'd be hard-pressed to find this level of quality programmer at other companies. I don't like this level of uncertainty.
  • Current Mood: worried worried
Oh lovely. I moved half way across the US because of a great opportunity and I'd get to work with utterly top notch people. Two months in, I'd managed not to get laid off while the one person I'd done the move to be able to work with had been. Argh.

The story continues on from there but all I'm drawing from this is that even companies with excellent prospects can turn sour suddenly especially when the new management is moronic.
Re: Ding! Ding! Ding!
Agreed. It's understandable for you to worry, but I don't think you should (I will allow you to be concerned without penalty).

You're highly skilled and I think they'll make the effort to keep you. If not, you have options because you know your stuff.
Do I risk it and assume they'll apply for a permit in time? Do I immediately apply for other jobs?

No, and yes. If telco/ISP situation is anything like it is over here, you'll be able to bring the coworkers you like along with you.

Good luck. I know half of what this feels like (the being sold piece) and it sucks.
I hope it works out for you. I know you have wanted this for a long time. Hugs and kisses bro! From a sis who is extremely proud of her bro!