EU worker status test

No-deal Brexit: a worker status headache for recruiters

Check the worker status of EU nationals, MP warns recruiters.

IRC announces growth plans after a successful third quarter.

Free flights to close skills gaps? One Irish agency puts its money where its mouth is.

“Check worker statuses in event of no deal”, Minister warns

UK employers and recruiters are likely to face a growing list of administrative duties in the light of a no-deal Brexit, a government minister has warned. Among these, organisations will need to conduct “right to work” tests on all EU employees and candidates.

Immigration minister Caroline Nokes warned of an “enormous challenge” for business, during a home affairs select committer hearing, (October 30th).

Currently, EU nationals are free to work in the UK without restriction. However, following a no-deal exit from the EU, only those who have obtained “settled status” will be eligible for work.

However, only 1,000 of the 3.5 million EU citizens working in the UK have achieved settled status. This equates to around 0.02 per cent of Britain’s continental workforce.

Furthermore, Ms Nokes warned that it would be impossible to distinguish settled EU nationals from newly arrived workers. The burden of proof, it would seem, will ultimately lie with employers – and the agencies they use to source candidates. Businesses and opposition MPs have described the situation as “chaotic”.

The select committee quizzed Ms Nokes on plans to establish who is entitled to work in Britain after Brexit. During a transition period, all EU nationals would retain a right to work. However, in the event of no deals, these privileges would essentially be revoked immediately.

When asked how businesses could assess employee statuses, MS Nokes offered to write her response at a later date.

Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Ed Davey said of Ms Nokes’ statement: “Far from clearing up that uncertainty today, the immigration minister made it worse”.

Settled Status and Brexit tests

Meanwhile, government support for EU applicants has “failed” according to some critics. The Oxford Migration Observatory said that uncertainty will lead to substantial under-application from EWU nationals. “A whole host of factors, from lack of awareness to fear of rejection to simple disorganisation mean that some eligible EU citizens will not apply.”

Similarly, a mobile app launched to make the application process easier remains unusable for many workers. A bug in the software has rendered the app unusable on Apple products, such as the popular iPhone. While the fault was first detected six months ago, it is yet to be corrected. The problem undermines government claims that “technological solutions” could be used to solve complex issues, such as the Irish border.

Last week, we reported that legal advice for recruiters was urging early IR35 tax checks, despite a delay to implementation plans. The news that agencies may soon also be required to screen candidates for “right to work” status could threaten to swamp agencies with additional administrative duties.

IRC poised to expand in light of strong Q3 data

Financial recruitment specialist Independent Resourcing Consultancy (IRC) has reported healthy growth data for the third quarter of 2018.

The business, which specialises in high value placements to the financial services sector, announced this week that it had experienced growth of 15 per cent since June 2018.

The multinational agency, which has operations in London and Dubai, said that attracting new clients had been the key to its success. The firm emphasised the importance of choosing the right recruitment software in delivering positive outcomes for its clients.

IRC Managing Director Lewis Greene said eBoss has been instrumental in helping his business grow in key areas. “eBoss has opened up doors with new clients – and won us consultants”.

Mr Greene also had advice for agencies that struggle to find growth: “Constantly work the database. You collect so much data these days. There is a tendency to focus on getting new candidates in the door: from social media and LinkedIn. But that is at the expense of what you already have in your system. A candidate who is not ideal for their first placement could be perfect for your next client.

“There are gems in the CRM – and eBoss deep searches have helped us to re-discover them.”

Reflecting on his company’s fortunes, the IRC spokesman said that success in a competitive corner of the market gives agencies little margin for error. “Don’t over-promise; just deliver.”

IRC is poised to expand its operations in light of the strong performance data. The agency seeks motivated consultants with a proven track record in the financial sector to join its ranks in salaried roles.

Can free flights close a skills gap?

We are always keen to learn about the inventive methods recruiters use to close local skills gaps. This week, we discovered perhaps the most generous incentive yet. An Irish recruitment agency will pay the flight costs of expats in Australia who want to return home to work.

According to the Limerick Reader, FRS Recruitment in Limerick will cover the travel costs of Irish expats who return home.

The offer has been extended to Irish nationals who live in Australia and who find work through FRS Recruitment.

FRS General Manager Colin Donnery explained the plan. “As the country is moving closer to full employment it is becoming more difficult to find suitably qualified personnel.” He added that companies across Ireland “are increasingly looking further afield to find people to fill important roles.”

The firm is especially keen to attract workers in key areas that are struggling to recruit at present. Construction, healthcare, IT, and financial services are among sectors targeted by the scheme.

“During the recession a lot of qualified, educated people left these shores to seek out opportunities that simply were no longer available in Ireland”, Mr Donnery explained. “Australia was a particularly popular location, given the thriving jobs marketplace”.

The offer will be extended to Irish expats during the Ireland is Hiring roadshow. The event visits Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane between the 8th and 13th of November.