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BRC: Consumers will pay the price for the uncertainty around EU retail workers

Laura  Barnes
BRC: Consumers will pay the price for the uncertainty around EU retail workers

Brexit immigration uncertainty is fuelling workforce shortages in UK retail, and consumers will end up paying the price, warns the British Retail Consortium (BRC) in a new report.

In its latest report, The People Roadmap, the BRC said that without swift action to provide certainty for people from EU working in the UK and a new immigration system fit for the future, consumers' choices could be impacted.

170,000 people from the EU work directly in retail, which accounts for six per cent of the industry’s UK workforce. In some regions of the country and different parts of the industry this is much higher – over a quarter in warehousing and distribution, for example.

The latest report in the BRC’s A Fair Brexit for Consumers series, illustrated 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.
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The new data showed that 56 per cent of retailers revealed that their EU colleagues are concerned about their right to remain in the UK.

A further 22 per cent reported that people from the EU have already left their UK workforce.

“The UK’s decision to leave the EU has created uncertainty, not only for business, but for the people from the EU they employ,” said Helen Dickinson OBE, chief executive of the BRC.

“These are real people with families, livelihoods and homes in this country. It is not right that 16 months after the referendum these people still don’t have the security they need to continue their lives.

“And from our data it is clear that unless we have the right structures in place to support retailers attract, recruit and retain workers, consumers will soon start to see and feel an impact as they shop.”

You can read the BRC’s report in full here.

Tags: Retail , eu , brc , brexit

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