With the government confirming that there will be no special visas for ‘low-skilled’ workers following Brexit, Employers have been told they will have no option but to adjust to these new stricter regulations and immigration rules by focusing more on employee retention and implementing productivity-boosting technology.
With the needs of having secured employment and a salary of at least £25,600, many UK employers may be concerned about the new ‘single global system’ and it’s set of requirements that need to be met for a worker to secure a visa.
The new system will be based on points, points which would be awarded based on certain criteria, such as their ability to speak English, meeting the salary threshold or possessing specific job skills. Only those individuals who meet the set point requirement would be granted with a visa. It’s worth noting that the education requirement has been dropped from degree level to A-level or equivalent.
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It has been estimated that 70% of the current EU workforce would not fit this new set of requirements, which for some employers is quite alarming. With many businesses in the UK leaning on immigration as a source of workers, these changes will force them to make changes within their organisation. In a recent statement, the Home Office insisted that businesses need to invest in retention, new tech and automation, with new technologies and systems allowing UK business to move away from the immigration system.
Never stop training your staff –Training an employee today is an investment in the future and could save you significant costs in recruiting in the future. It can also make the employee feel valued and engaged in the business. Ongoing training and development will help to retain workers who see more value and progression within their role.
Train your managers too – The quality of management is one of the primary drivers of employee turnover. Poor communication, a lack of clear expectations, and other managerial missteps can cause your talent to head for the exits. Provide regular check-ins with your managers, and consider holding “skip-level” meetings where staff can communicate with their manager’s supervisor. The insights you gain here may be eye-opening. HPC can provide training to your managers around all aspects of Employee Relations and engagement.
Ask staff for feedback – Your ground-level employees are directly engaged with your product or service, as well as your customers. They see problems occurring before management ever will. Often, they have innovative solutions for these issues, for example, there may be processes or even roles within your business that can be automated or enhanced by new technologies and processes. If you solicit feedback and suggestions from your team, they are more likely to feel empowered and engaged.
Little Perks – Breakfast on Friday, a quarterly team outing or even something as simple as a dress down day can show employees that they’re valued by the organisation without a large cost. Better yet, ask them what they would like most.
Whilst retention will need to play a big role in many businesses moving forwards, retention alone will not cut it for businesses in certain industries. Farming, hospitality, cleaning and construction are all examples of industries that are predominantly made up of EU citizens, many of whom who would not qualify or be eligible for a visa under the new point-based system. These industries are likely to struggle if they do not act quickly to address any holes this change would leave in their business. Unlike retail (an industry that will see some challenges from this new change), these industries will not be able to rely as much on the implementation of new tech and automation but would instead need to recruit and rely on UK citizens to fill these roles, which will be a struggle in itself. Over the next few months, in order to fill gaps, these businesses and industries will have to have a large focus on their recruitment, offering training to new recruits where necessary – Many UK based workers may be unqualified or lack the skills to perform in these roles and as a result, businesses need to be prepared to offer training and have a solid onboarding process if they want to fill the gap left by this new immigration law.
We understand that as a business owner these new changes may seem daunting. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with High Performance today and we can help you to assess what impact or effects that these changes may have on your business and help you put in place a plan of action to address them sooner rather than later.
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