Hot topic: EU citizen 'settled' status

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Looking at the bigger picture, its no use reluctantly "allowing" EU citizens to stay on some sort of temporary extension provided they can tick some boxes - if we genuinely want them to be part of ...


Read More Richard Cowling
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A ‘settled’ status for EU citizens who've been living in the UK more than five years has been proposed

Those granted it will be able to live, work, study and claim benefits. But has this put post-Brexit fears to rest or does it need to go further to prevent skills shortages? And what should businesses be doing to support EU staff?

Karen Grave, vice president of the PPMA, says:

"The government’s announcement is a welcome move. We anticipate it providing a sense of security to affected citizens, and for HR colleagues working in organisations already seeing a loss of skilled workers we hope there will be some immediate breathing space. Longer term we need to see what the outcome of the Brexit negotiations will be.

"We must also not lose sight of the overall shortage of skills in the UK. As well as welcoming EU workers, we need to develop home-grown talent and use our ageing workforce more effectively. Our HR and OD colleagues will be at the heart of these issues.

"Additionally we need a serious, informed and non-partisan debate about the impact that limits on public sector spending is having on employee pay."

Marco Reick, people director for Leon Restaurants, says:

"More than 60% of our workforce are EU citizens and this number isn’t unusual in our sector. While the government’s proposal of a new ‘settled status’ is somewhat reassuring it certainly isn’t the generous offer the PM originally promised.

"More questions have been raised than answered as there are so many EU workers who have been here for less than five years, all of whom are facing uncertainty around the ‘cut-off date’ to qualify. The government must understand that we are not dealing with a skills shortage, we are dealing with a labour shortage due to low levels of unemployment. We need immigration to keep growing, creating jobs, helping our economy and contributing more to the Exchequer.

"My fear is that our voice is not as loud as other industries such as the financial sector, yet it is just as important to allow low-skilled workers to come to the UK after Brexit. There is zero detail on how this may look after 2019, which is a real concern.

"We are reassuring and supporting our EU team members as best we can, but we need far more clarity from the government to put their minds, and ours, at rest."

Check back tomorrow for part two of this Hot Topic

Comments

Looking at the bigger picture, its no use reluctantly "allowing" EU citizens to stay on some sort of temporary extension provided they can tick some boxes - if we genuinely want them to be part of our economy we have to attract them and make them feel a welcome part of our economy and our society. The rhetoric of many of our politicians, the screaming headlines of the tabloid press, the mixed messages coming from Government and the prospect of 18 months or more of uncertainty are already driving qualified and unqualified employed people away. If I were in my 40s not my 60s, I would be leaving with them. If I were the People Director of Leon I would be looking at other countries to run my business in and running down the UK operation as the leases expire. I am that pessimistic about the future of our country.


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