Firms 'not ready' for new immigration curbs - CIPD

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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.”