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CIPD reports that a reduced amount of EU to UK migration has caused a skills shortage in the UK

According to CIPD’s latest quarterly labour market snapshot, a slump in the number of EU citizens migrating to the UK has exacerbated skills shortages in the UK.

CIPD found that the median number of applicants per vacancy across all skill levels has significantly decreased in the last 12 months. For each low-skilled role, the number of applicants fell from 24 to 20, for medium-skilled roles from 19 to 10, and for high-skilled vacancies from 8 to 6.

The prevalence of hard-to-fill vacancies has also continued to rise. Among employers who currently have vacancies, in Summer 2018, 66% reported that at least some of their vacancies are proving hard-to-fill, higher than in Spring 2018 (61%) and Spring 2017 (56%).

This coincides with a 95% decrease in the growth rate of EU-born workers migrating to the UK in the last year. Between Q1 2016 and Q1 2017, the number of EU-born workers in the UK increased by 148,000, whereas between Q1 2017 and Q1 2018, the number of EU-born workers in the UK increased by just 7,000.

Although there has still been a net increase in the number of EU workers in the UK labour market, a possible explanation for the skills shortage is a shift in the type of EU workers available in the UK labour market. Newly arrived EU workers may not have skills and experience in line with vacancies available, especially at a time when established EU workers who have built up years of experience in the UK are returning to the continent. Another possible explanation is UK job growth outstripping the growth in the UK workforce and the continued low unemployment rate.

Looking ahead, it is highly likely that labour will become even more constrained, at least in part as a result of new migration restrictions post-Brexit.

Employers would be well advised to place a greater emphasis on developing and up-skilling existing staff, for example, by sponsoring relevant professional qualifications, to be able to continue attracting and retaining people with the best skills and potential for their needs. Employers should also consider how best to retain their existing EU workers, especially as we move closer to Brexit and the launch of the new settled status scheme.

The next round of ONS migration statistics are due to be released on 23 August and it will be interesting to see whether the downward trend continues and we move into negative EU migration.

CIPD reports that a reduced amount of EU to UK migration has caused a skills shortage in the UK

Migrants’ rights in the spotlight

Brexit is thought to be one of the reasons why the Tier 2 (General) restricted Certificate of Sponsorship cap has been reached. However, we may at last be seeing some reprieve from this.
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Migrants’ rights in the spotlight

New entrepreneurial visa route announced

In a move announced by the Home Secretary yesterday, foreign nationals who want to start a business in the UK will be able to apply for a "start-up" visa.
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New entrepreneurial visa route announced

Tier 2 Restricted Certificates of Sponsorship – Quota hit

Tier 2 Restricted Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS), which employers use to employ non-EU/EEA nationals in the UK, are scarce.
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Tier 2 Restricted Certificates of Sponsorship – Quota hit

The “Windrush” generation – the similarities for EU nationals

The UK government's immigration minister, Caroline Nokes, has set out the government's commitment to support the "Windrush" generation. The "Windrush" generation is a reference to the ship, the Empire Windrush, that brought workers from the West Indies to Britain in 1948.
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The “Windrush” generation – the similarities for EU nationals

People, Reward and Mobility – Annual update and diversity review – May 2018

The People, Reward and Mobility team are pleased to invite you to our annual update seminar. Designed to bring you up to date with the latest key developments affecting your workforce, we will review:

  • the top employment cases for 2017 and 2018 and legislative changes, together with their implications for your business;
  • key changes in pensions and other employee reward schemes and their effects on your business;
  • the latest implications from Brexit on immigration matters, including what you can be doing now to be prepared; and
  • diversity and inclusion, with a spotlight on what #MeToo means for your business and gender pay gap reporting, a year into the regime.

The seminar will be preceded by a breakfast buffet and an opportunity to network. We will hold a complimentary legal clinic after the event.

For further information (including dates), please visit our Events page:

Events

People, Reward and Mobility – Annual update and diversity review – May 2018

Mergers and acquisitions post completion immigration actions

Where an organisation has a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence to employ non-EEA workers they have a responsibility to report to the Home Office when certain events occur. Examples include where the organisation moves premises, changes its name, or there is a merger, takeover, de-merger or, more generally, any transaction where there is a change of ownership.

Even though we are approaching the 10-year anniversary of the introduction of Tier 2, there continues to be a lot of confusion and misunderstanding regarding the sponsor licence reporting process, especially in relation to transactions. With strict deadlines for reporting (20 days from the date the event occurs) it is critical to understand the events that need to be reported, and any additional actions you must complete.

Preparation in advance of a transaction is key – if you only start assessing the necessary actions once a transaction has completed it is usually too late and there is a risk that the deadline will be missed. This could jeopardise the immigration status of any sponsored employees and your ability to sponsor employees in the future.

The questions you need to ask to determine necessary actions are:

  1. What type of transaction is taking place – is it a merger, acquisition, demerger, share sale?
  2. What entities are involved and do they currently have a Tier 2 sponsor licence?
  3. Will there be a change in the direct ownership of the sponsor licence entity, or will the change in ownership be higher up the chain?
  4. Will TUPE apply?
  5. Who are the Tier 2 visa holders impacted by the transaction?
  6. Will there be secondary changes now or in the future that need to be reported, for example will there be a change to the name or location of the organisation?

Depending on the responses to these questions the necessary actions in relation to the organisation could be as simple as a short report to the Home Office, or as complex as needing to apply for a new Tier 2 sponsor licence. In respect of each employee with a Tier 2 visa, again it may be as simple as a short report to the Home Office or as complex as each employee needing to apply for a new visa (which they may not be eligible for).

In addition, a new right to work check needs to be completed for any employee who TUPE transfers into your organisation.

Given the complexities in identifying the necessary actions, the strict timeframes with which to comply, and the negative impact of making an error, it is critical to think about immigration early on in the corporate deal.

A final point to consider is that, if the transaction includes operations outside the UK, similar immigration compliance actions may be required in each location, adding to the overall complexity and risk position.

Mergers and acquisitions post completion immigration actions

Don’t forget to sign up to our May 2018 annual update and diversity seminar

Don’t forget to sign up to our May 2018 annual update and diversity seminar

Croatian workers restrictions lifted

In a written statement to Parliament earlier this week, Caroline Nokes (the Minister of State for Immigration) announced that the transitional restrictions on Croatian workers would not be extended and will come to an end on 30 June 2018. The significance of this is that Croatian citizens will now be able to seek work in the UK on the same basis as citizens from other EU member states.
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Croatian workers restrictions lifted

Brexit immigration update: agreement reached on the transition period

The EU and UK held a joint press conference yesterday to announce that they had reached agreement on a number of key areas in the Brexit negotiations. Most notably for employers in the UK, the length of the transition period has been agreed, as well as key features of the process and timing for EU nationals in the UK to apply for residence documentation.

This latest announcement gives employers the certainty they need to start planning for the Brexit transition, including supporting their employees through the application process for residence documentation.

https://www.dentons.com/en/insights/alerts/2018/march/20/brexit-immigration-update-agreement-reached-on-the-transition-period.

Brexit immigration update: agreement reached on the transition period