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Do you have EEA-national employees?

View profile for Kathryn Dooks

The government’s Migration Advisory Committee (“MAC”) is seeking the views of employers and other interested parties on the impact of a reduction in EEA migration post-Brexit. The MAC is an independent body which advises the government on migration policy. The government has asked the MAC to advise on the economic and social impacts of Brexit and how the UK’s immigration system should be aligned with modern industrial strategy, with a view to shaping the government’s post-Brexit immigration policy.

On 4 August the MAC launched a call for evidence on a number of questions including the following:

  • The impact a reduction in EEA migration would have on your sector and how you feel you would cope;
  • Whether you have made any contingency plans in the event of a reduction in EEA migration to the UK;
  • The advantages and disadvantages of employing EEA workers and how these have changed following the Brexit referendum result;
  • The extent to which EEA and non-EEA migration has affected the skills and training of UK workers;
  • Whether the current shortage occupation list (applicable to high skilled occupations) should be expanded to cover lower skilled roles.
The MAC also issued an initial analysis of the UK labour market and a summary of other countries’ migration systems, as food for thought. It seems that the MAC are considering the following potential options (none of which are particularly surprising):
  • Preferential treatment for EEA nationals aged 18 – 30 (as they are more likely to contribute to the state for longer);
  • A limit on the number of visas which could be granted to EEA nationals;
  • Labour market tests to see whether a vacancy could be filled by a resident worker rather than an EEA migrant;
  • Minimum salary thresholds for lower-skilled roles;
  • Only allowing accredited employers to sponsor EEA nationals for work visas;
  • A points based approach.
If you wish to contribute to the debate, you can do so by email at by 27 October.