From February of this year, details of the UK’S post-Brexit immigration regime were announced, finally giving HR and businesses clarity to prepare for it when the Brexit changes come into place. There is no doubt that these preparations have been clouded by the Coronavirus pandemic, and workplaces have prioritised these newer, more prevalent issues instead.
For any business, which plans to hire EU or further afield staff after January 2021, it is vital to find the time to work on post-Brexit skills planning now. The new points-based scheme caused some trepidation among those who rely on ‘low-skill’, ‘low-paid’ workers. HR teams, however, can now proactively plan for retaining non-UK workers and foreseeing how employable talent may look in the future.
Under the new scheme, non-UK workers have to meet certain criteria or a setpoint threshold (70). As the Home secretary Priti Patel insisted, it is to reduce employer’s reliance on “cheap labour” and encourage businesses to invest more into staff training, retention and automatic technology. Points will be awarded for:
EU immigration to the UK is already at its lowest for 16 years, therefore reducing the pool of labour. This causes concern for employers who hire into lower-paid roles in sectors like hospitality and food production, who could see their labour supply compromised. Despite the government’s plan to fill these roles with the 8 million ‘economically inactive’, ex-HR direction Chadi Moussa says it will be ‘near impossible’ to find UK workers to make up this shortfall, as simply Britain’s labour force are not attracted to working in roles filled by a migrant workforce.
If you would like to keep up to date on the changes highlighted in this article as well as any other HR and employment law updates,
Although there are no changes happening until January 2021, it is important to be proactive rather than reactive towards the inevitable Brexit changes. A simple way to be prepared as an HR team is to pinpoint current staff members, which would not qualify for a UK citizenship if they were to be hired in 2021.
For sectors like:
Which have some of the highest percentages of non-UK citizens it is almost a necessity to get a sponsors license. It has not yet been confirmed how the sponsor’s license will work, but it is likely to be similar to Tier 2 sponsor system currently in place.
For all the HR managers, you will be glad to know there will be some adjustment times with the new immigration recruitment laws. The new rules only apply to new entrants and EU nationals who arrive in the UK before this date will have until the 30th of June 2020 to confirm their status in the UK.
Adapting and adjusting to new labour market norms will be tough, but the government expect us all to do it successfully. Many markets will investigate putting in new measures ensuring early career program success, such as apprenticeships appearing more enticing to the British workers. HR teams may look to hire on potential, over skills and CV experience. Focusing on skill development allows us to find the workforce required inside the UK.
While AI and automation can fill gaps for some sectors, many it cannot. However, employers and HR should look how their workforce can augment through technology to improve staff and customer experience.
HR professionals have huge challenges to overcome, with COVID-19 still requiring much attention for business continuity, it is necessary to embrace innovation and new hiring strategies in response to the fast-changing labour market. Focusing on the future now and how you will adapt around it ensures a strong pipeline of skilled and talented staff to keep sectors afloat.
If you would like further information on how you can get ahead with your Brexit plans, please contact the HPC team today.
T: 0844 800 5932