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Immigration crackdown to push businesses to the brink

When Teresa May announced her plans to be tougher on UK immigration she was also sparking concerns in the business community. The Confederation of Business Industry (CBI) has warned that without good UK immigration policies, UK companies could face significant losses and employees could lose their jobs as a result.

The director general of the CBI, Carolyn Fairbairn, has stated that if the UK government really considers restricting low-skilled immigration, it could have inadvertent consequences. Primarily that low-skilled jobs could go unfilled and this will lead to a lack of productivity and capacity that will limit business revenues and profitability.

The long-term effects of this are that businesses will be unable to afford their current workforce and will have to terminate employees.

The bubble bursts for employees

In recent years, the UK has experienced a boom in employment. Unemployment rates are at their lowest since the 1970s, which has given more power to employees who can now demand more in compensation packages, and this is partly behind the highest pay increase in the UK.

Temporary staffing agencies have also stated that a skills shortage has increased the wages of their agency staff at the fastest rate in the past ten years. However, should UK immigration laws change, these recent advantages for employees could become significant issues as employers won’t be able to afford the higher compensation packages.

Jumping the queue

Concerns have been raised about the number of EU migrants entering the UK. Since the Brexit vote in 2016, there has been a significant reduction in the number of incoming EU workers. It is now at the lowest levels for six years. This has coincided with businesses finding it more challenging to hire staff.

Teresa May has not helped the situation by stating in a speech last month that after the completion of Brexit, migrants from the EU will be unable to jump the queue. This has worried many business leaders who have compared it to 1970s oil price shock.

The post-Brexit UK immigration policy

It was announced on December 13th that the UK government will publish the long-awaited paper on the UK immigration policy once the UK has left the EU. This paper will outline the central policy that was at the centre of the referendum, and what it contains is going to be of interest for everyone in the UK and the EU.


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