The Office for National Statistics data found the number of EU citizens coming to the UK for work had fallen to 90,000: the lowest level since 2012 and down from 190,000 in 2016.
Jessica Brown, journalist for People Management, asked Jonathan Beech what he thought:
‘While the uncertainty continues, Jonathan Beech, managing director of Migrate UK, said there was little surprise employers were having difficulties attracting and retaining staff. “It’s looking quite worrisome for employers – they will have to be drumming up pretty good incentives to get EU migrants on board, as well as trying to plan for new immigration rules,” he said.’
Jessica Brown contacted a number of experts after official data suggested that net migration from Europe is at its lowest level since 2013. Read what they had to say:
The CBI query came after the latest immigration figures were released by the Office for National Statistics revealing a decrease in immigration.
Personnel Today spoke to a number of business leaders for their opinions. Migrate UK’s managing director Jonathan Beech provided this advice:
Any EU citizens or workers wanting to remain in the UK after Brexit must apply for pre-settled and settled status or, should they qualify, British Nationality, and by 31 December 2020 latest in the case of a no-deal. Until we’re clearer on whether we’re leaving on 31 January 2020 and under what conditions, applying now means you’re prepared for a worse case scenario.
Statisticians have stated the decrease is mainly because of decrease in EU citizens coming to the UK looking for work.
The ONS did find that immigration from people from outside the EU has continued to grow.
EU citizens safeguarding your future in Oxfordshire and the UK – published 21 November 2019
On 12th December the UK will have elected a prime minister. But deal, no deal or referendum, until we’re clearer that we’re leaving on 31st January 2020 and under what conditions, if you have not already done so, EU citizens should prepare for a worst case ‘no deal’ scenario by applying for pre-settled and settled status or, should they qualify, British Nationality, and by 31st December 2020 latest. After December next year and should we leave with no deal, those yet to apply will need to go through the ‘Euro Leave to Remain’ process which is capped at three years maximum. Any further application will need to be satisfied under the UK immigration rules at the time. Employers should direct workers to the EU Settlement Scheme process early to allow for delays in approvals as the Home Office will be flooded with applications ahead of the deadline. https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/eu-settlement-scheme-statistics-september-2019
It will also give the workforce a sense of security, but the process does come with a number of obstacles. Firstly, each applicant must hold a valid passport, national ID card or for non-EEA dependants, a valid Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). Secondly, to start the application process the migrant must download the Home Office app (newer Apple devices from iPhone 7 onwards can now be used) or find a location where their identity document can be scanned. Thirdly, those holding EEA Permanent Residence (blue card) will still need to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme unless they have obtained British Nationality prior to 31st December 2020 (in a no deal scenario).
Under a no deal, applicants will have to be living in the UK before the country exits on 31 January 2020 to qualify under the EU settlement scheme.
And finally, National ID cards will also be phased out in the UK as a method of travel to the UK. So, EU citizens, ensure to check that your passports are valid.
HR magazine’s article ‘General Election: Immigration policies pose challenges for employers’ published 15 November. Interviewed by Rachel Muller-Heyndyk, Karen Kaur was asked what employers need to do if they want to retain a diverse workforce.
“Employers should prepare for an Australian-style points-based system.
The Conservative party continues to move ahead with their ‘points-based’ immigration system which focuses on an individual’s skills and English language proficiency.
As a result, planning is key. Where possible employers should obtain sponsorship for any future forecasting from non-EU countries, and secure their EU nationals in the UK before 1 January 2021.”
Karen added that Labour’s delay in outlining a coherent immigration policy is unhelpful to employers. “Labour has not announced its policy moving forward, which does not assist employers with future forecasting.”
Migrate UK’s advice remains the same, apply for pre-settled and settled status or, should an employee qualify, British Nationality, and by 31 December 2020 at the latest.
Up to this point Apple devices have been unable to scan passports as Apple would not permit third-party developers to access the near-field communication (NFC) features needed to scan biometric passport chips. As this is a beta test by the United Kingdom Visas and Immigration (UKVI), the app may become available on other iPhone models in due course, although there is no immediate visibility on the timeline from the UKVI. https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/09/02/eu_settled_status_app_to_be_available_on_iphones_from_october/