Firms 'not ready' for new immigration curbs - CIPD

In a survey of more than 2,100 employers, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) found that 58% were unaware of the proposals put forward in the government's Immigration White Paper.Only 17% had thoroughly assessed the impact that the end of freedom of movement would have on their businesses while more than half said they did not have enough information to plan their post-Brexit recruitment strategy.Additionally, some 13% of respondents said they were likely to move some of their operations abroad.

“Employers are simply not ready for the introduction of new immigration restrictions,” the CIPD report - 'A Practical Immigration System for Post-Brexit Britain' - concluded.The government proposals for a system to come into force at the beginning of 2021 are currently out for consultation with the Migration Advisory Committee being tasked with assessing the impact of the proposed £30,000 minimum salary threshold and the efficacy of the Australian points system for immigration.

Gerwyn Davies, senior labour market adviser for the CIPD, said: "Very few employers are ready for the end of free movement and restrictions on immigration in just over a year. Worse still, many seem both daunted and alarmed by the range of restrictions planned and the costs they are likely to incur."Even if they can access the talent they need, there are concerns they may not be able to afford it. In response, the planned introduction of migration restrictions must be phased in to offset the risk of a labour supply shock and to avoid harming UK competitiveness.“It seems inevitable that the rate of inflow of EU citizens into the UK from 2021 will fall compared with recent years. With so few employers ready, we need a ‘safety buffer’ to give them more time to adjust."We need a set of workable policies that apply across all sectors that are simple, low-cost, fair and user friendly for both employers and non-UK citizens. However, the current timetable and balance is working against the short-term interests of employers and EU citizens.”

UK companies would incur tariff costs after no-deal Brexit - survey

LONDON (Reuters) - Almost 40% of British businesses with suppliers in the European Union have signed “Brexit clauses” to allow prices or other terms to be renegotiated if trade tariffs return after a no-deal departure from the bloc, a survey showed on Wednesday.

The Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) said the survey of 817 supply chain managers in Britain and the EU showed that British firms would incur the cost of any tariffs when buying parts from the bloc, potentially pushing up prices.

“These potential additional costs are being written into contracts ahead of time,” CIPS economist John Glen said. “Where this would be particularly damaging is SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) who are not flush with cash.”

British companies are struggling to prepare for Britain’s departure from the EU - the country’s biggest trade upheaval in half a century - due to extreme levels of political uncertainty.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has vowed to take Britain out of the world’s biggest trading bloc by Oct. 31 with or without a deal, but opposition lawmakers are trying to force another delay.

The survey, which monitors businesses in sectors including aerospace, construction, food and medical, also found only 22% of respondents among British firms with EU suppliers believed they had completed the paperwork to trade outside the bloc.

UNITED KINGDOM: Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules

The Home Office has published the latest Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules.

The changes include:

  • Removing PhD level occupations from the Tier 2 (General) cap, and changes to the Tier 2 (General) Shortage Occupation List (SOL);

  • Revised provisions for access to the EU Settlement Scheme for family members of UK nationals returning from a European Economic Area (EEA) member state or Switzerland, and some other minor changes to the EU Settlement Scheme;

  • Exempting medical professionals who have already passed an English language test from sitting another test before entry on a Tier 2 visa.

Tier 2 (General)

Effective 6 October 2019, PhD-level occupations will be exempted from the Tier 2 (General) annual cap of 20,700 places.

Also effective 6 October 2019, the SOL is being amended following a review by the independent Migration Advisory Committee published 29 May 2019.  There is one list covering the whole of the UK and an additional list for Scotland.  

The SOL means that:

(i) listed jobs are exempt from the Resident Labour Market Test requirement and are given higher priority within the Tier 2 (General) annual limit; and,

(ii) jobholders whose occupations are on the list are exempt from the relevant Tier 2 earnings threshold when they apply for indefinite leave to remain, although they must still be paid the appropriate rate for the occupation.

The changes to the SOL include:

  • Some new occupations have been added, such as biological scientists and biochemists, and veterinarians, and a small number removed, such as production manager and directors in mining and energy;

  • A significant number of Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) codes already on the SOL but only for limited types of jobs, have been extended to cover all jobs in that occupation code;

  • The qualifying company criteria applying to digitech occupations has been amended/removed; and,

  • The restriction preventing chefs from working for a sponsor that provides a takeaway service has been removed.

EU Settlement Scheme

Effective 1 October 2019, in line with an announcement in April 2019, close family members (where the relationship existed on Brexit day) of UK nationals returning with them from the EEA or Switzerland, having lived there together while the UK national exercised their free movement rights, will be able to access the EU Settlement Scheme until 29 March 2022 in both ‘deal’ and ‘no deal’ scenarios.

Future spouses, civil partners and durable partners (where the relationship was established after Brexit day), and other dependent relatives of UK nationals, returning with them from the EEA or Switzerland, having lived there together while the UK national exercised their free movement rights, will be able to access the EU Settlement Scheme until 31 December 2020 in both ‘deal’ and ‘no deal’ scenarios.

World cleanup day 21st September 2019

Will you be joining World Cleanup Day?

We at Icon Relocation feel it’s our duty as citizens on this planet to give back to our beautiful world and take full responsibility to join and do our deed as global citizens in cleaning up together as a community.

On the 21st September we as a team will be picking up litter across the United Kingdom. World Cleanup Day is one of the biggest civic movements of our time, uniting 157 countries across the world for a cleaner planet.

World Cleanup Day on 15 September 2018 united 18 million people across 157 countries and territories for the biggest waste collection day in human history. An epic 36-hour green wave of cleanups across the globe – beginning in New Zealand and travelling around the world before ending in Hawaii.

The next World Cleanup Day will take place on 21 September 2019. On that day volunteers and partners worldwide again will come together to rid our planet of trash – cleaning up litter and mismanaged waste from our beaches, rivers, forests, and streets.

World Cleanup Day harnesses the power of everyday people to achieve incredible things by joining together. Its beauty lies in cooperation and collaboration: building bridges between disparate communities, and including all levels of society – from citizens to business, to government.

Sign up here

Global Agility in a VUCA World

Rebecca Ticehurst, our Global Mobility Operations Manager and Simon Johnston, CEO
from Icon Relocation
joined other board members of ARP (The Association of Relocation Professionals) & EuRA (The European Relocation Association) from around the UK & Europe for a training course on ‘Global Agility in a VUCA World’ in London.

VUCA stands for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity. An amazing course, great people and outstanding lecturers; clearly a training module that could be available to all ARP & EuRA members in the near future.

ARP represents Corporate Relocation professionals, property finders and range of members who provide specialist relocation services. Simon Johnston, chairman of ARP has been in the relocation industry since February 1988 originally working for one of the largest relocation companies in the UK before becoming the Relocation Manager of Nestle UK.

In September 2001, Simon formed Icon Relocation Ltd with Icon Moving Services following in 2010; with UK offices in Sussex and Hertfordshire.

EuRA is the professional industry body for relocation providers and affiliated services. As a non-profit organisation EuRA aims to promote the benefits of a professionally managed relocation to companies with globally mobile employees.

BREXIT: UK Government Modifies Rules for EU Citizens Arriving After No-Deal Brexit

[UPDATE 5 Sep 2019] On 4 September 2019, the Home Office published a new policy paper detailing its modified transitional arrangements for EU citizens arriving in the UK after a no-deal Brexit. According to this policy paper, EU citizens and their family members will be able to move to the UK and live, study and work "as they do now" during the transitional period until 31 December 2020. Under the previous proposals, they would only be able to stay for three months at a time during this period.

[UPDATE 2 Sep 2019] On 1 September 2019, the media reported that the Home Office has abandoned its plans to curtail the transitional arrangements for EU citizens arriving in the UK after a potential no-deal Brexit on 31 October 2019, following warnings from lawyers that the move risked losing a legal challenge.

Background - EU Temporary Leave to Remain

On 28 January 2019, the UK Home Office published a policy paper outlining its proposals for temporary, transitional arrangements for EU citizens arriving in the UK after a no-deal Brexit, until 31 December 2020, when a new immigration system would come online.

According to the proposals, during this period EU citizens coming for short visits would be able to enter the UK visa-free and stay, work and study for up to three months from each entry. Those wishing to stay longer than three months would need to apply for temporary leave to remain, valid for up to three years, including permission to work and study. Those wishing to stay even longer would need to apply again under the future immigration system, once implemented.

Recent Developments

Home Office officials recently briefed the government that this plan would be impossible to enforce, as government and employers would be unable to distinguish new arrivals from those already resident in the UK. Their paper proposed that free movement should therefore continue until the new immigration system was ready in January 2021, to provide more certainty to EU citizens and employers.

The Home Office then stated that both these options have been rejected by the government, and that the new home secretary is working on an alternative plan for ending freedom of movement immediately after 31 October 2019, the day that the UK is scheduled to leave the EU without a ratified withdrawal deal.

On 19 August 2019, a Home Office factsheet was published confirming that “details of other changes immediately after 31 October and improvements to the previous government’s plans for a new immigration system are being developed and the government will set out its plans shortly.”

Another government source later suggested that the new plan may largely resemble the January proposal because of the lack of time left before Brexit day.

Future Immigration Policy

In December 2018, the previous government published an immigration white paper on its proposed future skills-based immigration system, designed to replace freedom of movement for EU citizens after Brexit. According to the proposal, EU (and EFTA) workers will be treated the same as non-European nationals under the existing points-based system, but with some amendments to the system following most of the recommendations of the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) earlier in 2018.

The proposed changes for skilled workers include:

Scrapping the overall cap on the number of visas for skilled workers that can be issued (currently imposed on the Tier 2 (General) category);

Lowering the skills threshold to include RQF levels 3-5 (A level or equivalent);

Abolishing the resident labour market test for skilled workers;

Making the sponsorship system as “straightforward and light-touch as possible”.

The MAC also proposed maintaining the minimum salary of £30,000 for Tier 2 (General) migrants, subject to certain exemptions, and extending it to workers from EU countries. There has been criticism of this threshold by businesses and others who fear staff shortages.