Posts Tagged ‘EU Migrants’


BRITISH DEMOCRACY DARKENED MILLIONS OF LIVES

 

The new study by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research announced today that employers in three sectors employing large numbers of EU migrants – hospitality, food and drink, and construction – reveal they were unprepared for the Leave result and believe it is bad for business.

According to the study employers were surprised by June’s referendum result and some expressed strong feelings including ‘shock’, ‘horror’ and even devastation. Employers are worried about recruitment once free movement ends, are concerned for the wellbeing of their EU workers who have been left in the dark about their future and they want a say in future immigration policy.

The research with 17 employers with workforces of between 30 and 15,000, reveals their EU workers feel they are unwelcome in the UK and have even experienced hostile comments from customers. This led many to issue reassuring messages about the value of EU migrants to the business.

The research reveals:

  • Few employers sent out information to their workforces about the referendum before the vote but many regretted not doing so.
  • Workplace discussion about the referendum has been livelier after polling day than before.
  • A number of employers have needed to put in place policy to deal with xenophobic incidents involving the public towards their EU employees.

 

Employers say their preference is for free movement to continue. They cannot see how a points-based system, often proposed during the referendum campaign, could work in low-skilled sectors. They are interested in the use of sector-based schemes but are concerned that any system should involve minimal additional cost and bureaucracy. They are also concerned that any visa systems will not allow them to respond quickly to fluctuating labour requirements.

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The study re-interviewed employers who took part in research on free movement before the referendum. Following the Leave result a number are looking more seriously at how they might recruit more UK workers but can see no easy answers. The CEO of a bakery company employing 280 staff, including 168 EU migrants, stated:

“The outer’s view is that migration will stop and we’ll suddenly have a sensible level of tens of thousands net migration whereas anybody I know who works in a food manufacturing industry is thinking ‘oh crikey, if that happens, we’re going to be seriously stuffed in terms of what we can do to make food’.”

Dr Heather Rolfe, Associate Research Director at NIESR, said:

“Like many people, employers were not prepared for the Leave result. But unlike others, employers have already felt the impact and have needed to reassure worried EU workers. They feel regret that they were not more involved in the campaign and that business failed to convey to the public how changes to the economy impacts on people’s lives”.

“As we negotiate our way out of the EU, politicians need to minimise damage to businesses and individuals. A new immigration policy should be formed in consultation with employers, among others.”

Dr Rolfe wrote on her recent article at NIESR that while the referendum results took immediate and devastating effects on migrant employers, who received racist attacks from their customers and co-workers British employers who were described as “jubilant” will be experiencing the same effects next year when the Article 50 is triggered.

The manager of a holiday resort chain stated:

“The general flavor that I got back from EU workers was discontent, concern that English people do not like them being here and what is their future going to be.”

“Employers should be involved in shaping immigration policies; beyond immediate concerns for their businesses and their EU workers, employers are worried about an end to free movement and want a say in future policy. “ further explained Dr Rolfe in her article today.