For some time now, there has been fear in the agricultural sector that the volume of available workers from outside the UK is diminishing and there would not be enough workers to meet seasonal demands for harvesting/picking and packing the crops. This fear was enhanced with the abolition of the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme (SAWS) in January 2014, which previously enabled farmers to recruit workers from Romania & Bulgaria for fixed seasonal periods.
Now, following the EU referendum in which the UK voted to leave the EU (Brexit), there are real concerns across the entire food industry that the amount of available workers will reduce even further and potentially have a severe impact on the industry as we know it. The uncertainty of what Brexit means for the thousands of EU migrant workers that have already settled in the UK together with the devaluation of the pound, make the UK a less attractive place to live and work. Labour providers are already seeing an increase in the number of EU workers moving back to their homeland.
The Association of Labour Providers has formed a Brexit Labour Policy Sub-Group, whose aim is to develop policy and provide underpinning evidence in relation to the effect of Brexit on the food and agricultural sector.
David Segust, First Call Contract Services Compliance Director, is one of several labour provider members who has volunteered to be part of the group and is committed to working towards influencing policy and ensuring that the concerns of the industry are heard.
First Call Contract Services are extremely keen to hear what our customers (Labour users) and temporary colleagues (Workers) feel about the current situation in the sector.
By sharing your experiences with David, it will enable the sub group from the ALP to challenge UK policy makers.
Feel free to email David with your thoughts!
David looks forward to hearing from you.