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EU Workers Set to Leave the UK Within the Next Five Years

Sep 12, 2017
It has been reported that 47% of high-skilled EU citizens employed in the UK are thinking of leaving the UK within the next five years. With Brexit looming on the horizon making EU citizens feel unwelcome here, it is no surprise that this percentage is so high.

While the thought of many jobs being freed up by their departure may sound alluring at first, the resulting threat to our job market could be catastrophic. Britain is no longer crying out for jobs and the unemployment rate has dropped from 8.2% in 2012 to 4.5% so far this year, hitting a 42-year low.

If as many EU citizens were to leave the UK, moving into Brexit we could see our workforce shrink, posing risks to the economy and the business market. There is already a shortage in engineering, IT, care work and accountancy, as well as UK companies reporting a low rate of staff retention and issues with recruiting new staff.
On top of this, the ‘post-war baby boom’ is now becoming the ‘post-war retirement boom’. Many workers are retiring from the job market, therefore reducing tax revenue while their NHS expenditure is increasing.

In an attempt to tackle the uncertainty going forward, employers should consider opening up a dialogue with employees who are EU citizens to understand what their views, concerns and current plans are in light of Brexit. Employers will be able to get an idea of how their business structure could look in the coming years and be able to develop a contingency plan, whether it be efforts to retain current staff or plans to recruit replacement staff for those who plan to leave the UK.