88% of EU workers in UK not eligible for work visas

Six per cent of the UK’s workforce is made up by EU employees.

However, if a Brexit was to occur – rendering free movement of labour inapplicable – 88% of current EU workers would not qualify for current UK visa requirements, according to joint research by the Social Market Foundation and Adecco Group UK & Ireland.

13% out of the 1.6 million EU workers currently make-up London’s workforce, yet three quarters of those working (ten per cent) would not meet visa requirements set for non-EU migrants.

Only 12% of current EU workers in the UK would qualify, and an even lower percentage of employees in the private sector would be eligible.

If the referendum sees Britian leaving the EU, the potential impact on the UK labour market could see EU workers struggling to remain in the UK, failing to meet all three requirments of the visa system needed for non-EEA workers. 

An industry that would be greatly affected is accommodation, which is made up by 14% of EU employees, as less than one percent would qualify. In addition, almost all EU workers in manufacturing, agriculture, administration and support, and transport sectors would not be eligible for the required visas.

Although a small five per cent of part-time workers are from the EU, almost all would fail to meet the requirements, leading to a potential loss in flexibility, as fewer workers would be available to recruit for part-time work.

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Economy, General, Recruitment