As the UK anticipates the post-Brexit lifestyle, the immigration regime is something that most businesses are highly concerned for. Due to EU citizens taking up around 8% of the UK workforce, there is a great demand for their skills services, although they would lose their rights to work if the UK eventually exits the EU.
In charge of managing immigration to the UK, the Home Office has outlined their plan for a post-Brexit immigration system which includes a weak salary threshold of around £30,000. For someone who wishes to travel to England without qualifying for another kind of visa would need to earn at least this amount in order to obtain their Tier 2 visa, putting the immigrants’ opportunities of comfortable living fairly low.
However, there are loopholes to this controversial threshold, for example, certain skills can allow for higher salaries. This means that if a worker is applying for a position on the Shortage Occupation List, they’re in particularly high demand for the UK economy. The Home Office have conveyed that they are willing to make exceptions in order to protect the UK from a skilled labour shortage.
For the companies employing lower-skilled labourers from outside of the UK, their position is slightly more at risk. If the aspiring worker does not have a sufficient skill set, there will be difficulties for staff retention as they would have a one-year visa which would have to be processed and updated annually.
In particular, small-to-medium sized (SME) construction businesses is likely to see the most disadvantages as this new wave of migration processes approaches.
These concerns regarding labour supply and demand for the post-Brexit workforce is prevalent across the UK, with statistic showing record-high unemployment. This makes it increasingly difficult for companies to retain talent and skills. The political uncertainty remains as a factor of concern for most UK construction companies.