Bira (British Independent Retailers Association) has written to Andrea Leadsom, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, calling for greater clarity on what Brexit will mean for the UK workforce.
Bira said: ‘With many independent businesses relying heavily on foreign workers, the suggested £30,000 minimum salary threshold would seriously damage their ability to employ these workers.’
The letter states: ‘Like many industries, we employ foreign workers in roles across the skill spectrum, as well as in temporary and seasonal roles. We would urge the Government to revise down the suggested £30,000 minimum salary threshold for skilled workers coming to the UK to enable our businesses to continue to thrive.
‘We would also suggest that the proposed short-term route set out in the Immigration White Paper is extended to at least three years and allows migrants to switch to the skilled visa if eligible. This would ensure our industries are able to prosper and continue to grow.
‘An Australian style point system has also been proposed by the Government and this would clearly impact on our respective industries due to the kinds of workforce we are reliant upon. We would welcome clarity as soon as possible on how the government intends to implement this.’
Bira ceo Andrew Goodacre commented: “The uncertainty being caused by the Brexit turmoil is causing real concern for retailers in many ways. The task of retaining and recruiting employees in retail is already very difficult and the changes due to Brexit will make it even harder. We need a common sense approach to support independent retail businesses.”
Bira ceo Andrew Goodacre