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One in 10 firms report EU workers planning to quit

26 September 2016

ive per cent have already seen resignations in the wake of Brexit referendum, says BCC survey; impact on workforce seen as most concerning aspect of Brexit

EU nationals in around two-fifths (41 per cent) of British businesses have expressed concerns about their right to work in the UK after it leaves the EU, according to a new survey from the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC).

Five per cent of organisations experienced resignations from EU employees in the month following the referendum on EU membership, while 10 per cent reported that some workers had signalled their intention to leave the UK, according to the poll of more than 800 organisations.

The BCC said the loss of EU nationals from the workforce would hamper businesses at a time when many are already reporting recruitment difficulties. It called on the government to provide immediate certainty for those affected, and said organisations also required more information on their ability to hire EU nationals before the country leaves the union.

Sixty per cent of those surveyed said residency guarantees would have a positive impact on their business, compared to 28 per cent that felt they would have no impact.

This weekend, prime minister Theresa May said resolving the issue remained a priority but was able to offer no firm guarantees. She also appeared lukewarm on the prospects of adopting a points-based system for controlling EU immigration in future.

Adam Marshall, acting director general at the BCC, said: “Since the referendum many firms have expressed concern over the future status of their existing EU workforce. Theresa May should reassure them as soon as possible that they will have the right to remain in the UK, to provide much-needed certainty both for EU employees and UK employers.”

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