Permits Foundation Brexit survey shows importance of family matters to employers26 June 2018
When it comes to Brexit, family matters are important to employers and HR managers. That’s the key finding from a survey on Brexit immigration policy issues facing employers in the UK.
The Permits Foundation Brexit Survey looked at the impact of Brexit on EU citizen employees, with a focus on family members during the transition phase and beyond. It was completed by HR and mobility managers in 74 companies, research institutes and universities in the UK. The vast majority favoured no further restrictions on family rights and a short, simple and user-friendly registration procedure. They also gave unanimous support for retaining partner access to employment.
“The results show that the issue of EU citizens’ family members is highly significant, particularly regarding the continued right to settle and to work in the UK.” said Gill Gordon, Chair of Permits Foundation and HR Director of Schlumberger in the UK. “That’s very important for the families and also for employers who need to be able to attract and retain skilled staff after Brexit.”
The publication of the Permits Foundation report coincides with a Home Office statement and consultation on a new online registration system for EU citizens and their family members.
“Some of our concerns have been addressed in the Government’s latest proposals on the registration process.” added Gill Gordon. ‘’We will be studying them in detail and responding to the consultation, using evidence from our study.”
In the report, Permits Foundation makes several policy recommendations to the UK government, including that:
- All Brexit migration policies and processes on the rights of EU citizens should be clearly communicated (including to employers) and also provide user-friendly information on family members and their rights.
- Family member right to employment should be more clearly stated to all concerned – to the family members themselves, the EU citizen employees and to employers.
- EU citizens and family members arriving during the implementation period have been assured the right to stay and settle. This right should be confirmed now with no further restriction on the definition of family members.
- Future partners should have the right to join EU citizens living in the UK before 31 December 2020, including where the relationship is formed at a later date.
- During registration, applicants should have the option to apply as a family unit.
Permits Foundation Executive Director Michiel van Campen highlighted, “the survey shows that employers require clarity and certainty in preparation for Brexit, so we recommend that key rights be safeguarded now.”
The report aims to provide an evidence base to help inform the Migration Advisory Committee and the Home Office in view of immigration policy developments in the coming weeks and months.