Foreign Workers & Skill Shortages
During the recent Conservative Party Conference, Home Secretary Amber Rudd said that companies could be forced to publish the number of foreign workers that they employ. This is one of the measures being considered as the government tries to work out practical ways of tightening the net migration target as part of its Brexit strategy.
It seems the intention is to tighten the regulations regarding employment of people from within the UK before looking for international candidates.
The proposals, which also target the numbers of foreign students, are expected in a forthcoming consultation and could oblige businesses to “be clear about the proportion of their workforce which is international”.
It is not known how large a business would be before it could be required to publish details, but it is expected that figures could be required on a site-by-site basis.
Under current rules on employing foreign nationals, employers typically need to advertise for four weeks before they can look to recruit internationally.
However, employers groups have reacted angrily to the proposals. Peter Cheese, chief executive of the CIPD, described the plan as “divisive” and said it risked demonising companies that employ migrants. He said, “Greater transparency in workforce make-up can be a good thing… However, a Government-mandated list designed to name and shame organisations is entirely inappropriate and sends the wrong message about tackling a complex issue of skills shortages across the workforce.”
Paul Drechsler director general of the CBI, and Adam Marshall, acting director general of the British Chambers of Commerce have also expressed their reservations about the proposals.
Meanwhile The Institute of Directors, has proposed that the government seeks to provide immediate certainty of the future rights of EU immigrants currently in the UK. It is also demanding better training for British workers to meet employers’ requirements, as well as more rigorous collection of migration data and stronger enforcement against abuse of the immigration system.
More information on this proposal will be published when the details are known.
Posted on 19 Nov 2016