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Consumers may suffer if no assurance to EU workers in UK
Oct '17
Consumers may suffer if the British Government does not quickly offer assurance to people from the European Union (EU) working in the United Kingdom about their future and develop a new immigration system, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) said. Around 170,000 EU citizens working directly in retail account for 6 per cent of the industry’s UK workforce.

In some regions of the United Kingdom and different parts of the industry this is much higher; for example, over a quarter in warehousing and distribution.

BRC cautioned in a new report that the knock-on impact of a potential reduction in availability of skills and workers, and higher costs of employment could hit consumers as people from the EU play a very important role in every aspect of retail business.

BRC’s latest report in the ‘A Fair Brexit for Consumers’ series titled ‘The People Roadmap’ illustrates how the lack of certainty about the future status of EU colleagues and the UK’s future relationship with the EU is driving workforce changes that have the potential to impact consumer choice and experience.

According to the report, 56 per cent of retailers said their employees from EU nations are concerned about their right to remain in the United Kingdom. Twenty two per cent reported that people from the EU have already left their UK workforce.

“...At a time when the retail industry is in the midst of a transformation that is changing the very nature of retail jobs, we need a demand-led and simple alternative. Simple for employees and employers alike and based on consumer need not political rhetoric,” BRC CEO Helen Dickinson said.

The government should also work with British industry to invest in skills and talent to help domestic retailers, she added. (DS)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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