UK-based EU workers showing concern as Brexit approaches

EU workers currently working the UK are becoming increasingly concerned about their future as the date of Brexit draws closer.

The latest Labour Market Outlook conducted by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), found that of the large proportion of employers who currently employ EU nationals, around half (48 per cent) report an increase in their EU workforce expressing insecurity about their jobs as a result of Brexit.

Interestingly, this insecurity was also shared by UK citizens at more than a quarter (26 per cent) of Two Builders Cutting Concrete Wet Cutting - Emigrate2organisations.

The publication of the EU Settlement Scheme has gone some way to reassure EU workers, but only 28 per cent of employers say it has helped their confidence in retaining EU nationals over the next two years.

Significantly, 90 per cent of employers say the current migration proposals will not, or only to some degree, meet their needs for low or medium-skilled labour.

Last week, the Home Office confirmed to the CIPD that regardless of a deal or no-deal Brexit, employers will not have to conduct right to work checks on EU citizens immediately after Brexit.

In addition, it has reassured employers that they will not have to differentiate between resident EU citizens and those that arrive after exit March 2019. The Home Office’s indication to the CIPD is that free movement will effectively continue during the transitional period between March 2019 and December 2020; as currently set out in the draft agreement between the EU and the UK.

The latest developments closely follow the Prime Minister’s recent assurance that the rights of EU citizens will be protected in the event of a no-deal scenario. This means that the EU Settlement Scheme, which requires all EU citizens living in the UK to obtain a settled status document that would give them the same rights as they currently enjoy under free movement, will also continue.

The registration process, to begin in January 2019, will last for a period of around two and a half years, so there is no immediate urgency for employers and EU citizens.

Article published 12th November 2018