End of free movement set to damage British organisations, says CIPD

Tuesday 27 June 2017

An end to free movement could cause substantial damage to UK organisations, with one in ten businesses seeing a fall in the number of EU nationals recruited since Brexit, a new study has found.

Research from the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD) and the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) discovered there is a clear concern among companies about how to transition out of Brexit. 

Firms are concerned that a new immigration system could negatively affect their chances of recruiting candidates from outside the UK. 

The report advises the government to scrap plans to reduce their net migration to tens of thousands and offer extra options in order to bring in EU nationals for low-skilled jobs. 

Although the recent Queen’s speech did not specify how any future bill would work, the CIPD wants an immigration system that is straightforward and flexible to make sure companies can find the talent they require. 

The group emphasised that it is more important than ever before for companies to access talent from a wide pool, adding that managers need to consider how they are training and recruiting staff. 

For self-employed professionals, the effects of Brexit remain unknown as the UK continues to debate terms with the EU, though legislation could change. 

Specialist contractor and freelancer accountants can help to ensure those working for themselves can stay up to date with their latest rules and regulations. 

Some 18 per cent of respondents surveyed by the CIPD said they bring in EU nationals due to their job-specific and practical knowledge. A further five per cent explained they hire staff outside of the UK because they offer better digital skills than British candidates. 

Among the reasons for employing EU nationals were difficulties attracting British-born applicants to fill unskilled or semi-skilled roles, a higher work ethic and a commitment to fit in with an organisation’s values or behaviour. 

One in five organisations (11 per cent) said they are contemplating relocating all or some of their UK operations outside the UK, or will work towards future growth outside the country (nine per cent) due to the departure from the European Union. 

The study also found that young people, parents, careers advisers and teachers all lack awareness of the options available in their sectors. Some respondents suggested the poor quality of employment advice available is detrimental to professionals.  

By Victoria McDonnell

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