- 28 June 2017
- Transport / Logistics Services
As Brexit negotiations get under way, the Freight Transport Association (FTA) has warned that the logistics industry could ‘grind to a halt’ without EU workers. It is demanding urgent clarification as to the timing of the introduction of new workers’ rights for EU nationals in the UK.
According to the FTA, currently EU nationals account for 26% of warehouse workers and 13% of HGV drivers in the UK’s freight and logistics industry – of a total of 2.5 million people employed in the sectors.
The government set out its proposals for EU workers earlier this week following Brexit. Those who have been living continuously in the UK for five years will be able to apply for ‘settled status’ and live here indefinitely. Clarification however is needed for the cut off date for those arriving in the UK to achieve that status. This lack of information could impact on UK businesses’ ability to plan ahead and ultimately to trade efficiently in the coming years.
“The Government’s announcement on the rights of EU workers to remain and work in the UK is a welcome first step in enabling businesses to plan and manage their workforces,” says Pauline Bastidon, the FTA’s head of European policy.
“But there is still much to be done to ensure that logistics companies are not left stranded, without the skilled workforce required to keep Britain’s trade moving nationwide, and across borders to other nations.
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