Thursday

8th Dec 2016

UK government backtracks on foreign workers lists

  • The Tory government wants to encourage companies to hire British workers

The UK government has announced a u-turn on a plan forcing firms to draw up lists of foreign workers.

"This is not going to happen," defence secretary Michael Fallon told BBC on Sunday (9 October).

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

He added that firms could be asked "simply to report their numbers".

The data would be used to assess the labour market and encourage companies to hire British workers.

"What I can absolutely rule out is that we will not be asking companies to list or publish or name or identify in any way the number of foreign workers they have," Fallon said.

The controversial idea was announced by home secretary Amber Rudd at the Conservative Party conference last Tuesday (5 October), and drew strong criticism.

Even the UKIP, which campaigned for Brexit with a hard line on immigration, said the plan went "too far".

UKIP MEP Roger Helmer said on Saturday that plans to “shame” companies who employ foreigners would be branded “fascist” had they been advocated by his party.

Steve Hilton, a former adviser to ex-prime minister David Cameron, writing in the Sunday Times condemned the policy as repugnant and divisive. He had suggested that ministers might as well announce that “foreign workers will be tattooed with numbers on their forearms”.

Diane Abbott, Labour’s shadow home secretary, said the Tories were in "disarray".

In the meantime, businesses continue to worry over the implications of Brexit.

A poll taken more than three months after the referendum said that 88 percent of finance officers feel their businesses are facing abnormally high levels of uncertainty. In the immediate wake of the 23 June vote, the figure was 92 percent, the Guardian wrote.

Column / Brexit Briefing

Davis brings Brexit back to reality

Brexiteers will be shocked to hear the government is considering slaughtering the sacred cow, offering up contributions to the EU budget in exchange for market access.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNICEFSchool “as Vital as Food and Medicine” for Children Caught up in Conflict
  2. European Jewish CongressEJC President Breathes Sigh of Relief Over Result of Austrian Presidential Election
  3. CESICongress Re-elects Klaus Heeger & Romain Wolff as Secretary General & President
  4. European Gaming & Betting AssociationAustrian Association for Betting and Gambling Joins EGBA
  5. ACCAWomen of Europe Awards: Celebrating the Women who are Building Europe
  6. European Heart NetworkWhat About our Kids? Protect Children From Unhealthy Food and Drink Marketing
  7. ECR GroupRestoring Trust and Confidence in the European Parliament
  8. UNICEFChild Rights Agencies Call on EU to put Refugee and Migrant Children First
  9. MIRAIA New Vision on Clean Tech: Balancing Energy Efficiency, Climate Change and Costs
  10. World VisionChildren Cannot Wait! 7 Priority Actions to Protect all Refugee and Migrant Children
  11. ANCI LazioRegio-Mob Project Delivers Analysis of Transport and Mobility in Rome
  12. SDG Watch EuropeCivil Society Disappointed by the Commission's Plans for Sustainable Development Goals