Sussex Chamber of Commerce Addresses EU Employees Brexit Reservations
11 October 2016
There are increasing concerns and reservations over the future for hundreds of thousands of EU workers in Britain in the lead up to Britain’s exit from the European Union.
Sussex Chamber of Commerce has addressed these concerns and the affect they are having on businesses.
In a survey conducted by the British Chamber of Commerce, 5% of UK businesses have seen EU employees resign following the EU referendum and a further 10% stated their intention to leave the UK.
One major concern businesses are calling on the government to clarify is hiring during the transition period; there is no clear direction regarding EU nationals’ residency status in this country once we have left the EU.
The NHS currently has 57,000 workers who are EU nationals; this equates to 5% of its workforce, without security and guarantees from the government this could lead to further resignations from EU employees.
Ana Christie, Chief Executive at Sussex Chamber of Commerce, said,
“The government must create a future immigration policy that allows businesses to plug their skills shortages with employees from the EU, with minimal bureaucracy, cost or barriers. There is still a significant skills gap in the UK, and while it is vital that the government continues to address this through expanding apprenticeships and vocational training, businesses need to be able to access the specialist skills and talent that they need from all around the world, not just a part of it.
“Since the referendum many firms have expressed concern over the future status of their existing EU workforce. These hardworking people are absolutely vital to the success of businesses, and must be retained – we cannot afford to lose talented and skilled workers. Government needs to provide much-needed certainty both for EU employees and UK employers.
“A sensible immigration policy that allows businesses to plug difficult skills gaps should go hand in hand with sustained investment in training UK workers for the jobs of the present and the future.
“Guaranteeing the rights of EU workers is just one of the major issues that the new government needs to make, and quickly. This decision is crucial to solidifying business confidence and laying the foundations for UK growth in the coming years.”