Making businesses list foreign workers risks demonising firms with migrants, says CIPD chief

The chief executive of CIPD has criticised the UK Home Secretary’s policy proposals aimed at cutting the number of foreign workers at British companies.

Rudd said the listing of workers is a proposal and would be part of a wider review of immigration regulations. Photo credit: PA 
Under the plans announced at the Conservative Party conference, companies would have to list the non-U.K. nationals who work for them. Banks and landlords would also face sanctions if they fail to make checks on foreigners doing business with them.
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Amber Rudd defended accusations of stoking racism and anti-immigrant sentiment, stating that she wanted to “flush out” companies abusing existing rules and “nudge them into better behaviour.”
Peter Cheese said: “The Home Secretary’s suggestion that businesses should reveal how many foreign workers they employ is divisive and risks demonising companies with migrants in their workforce.
“At a time of increasing tension and uncertainty around migrant labour, the Government needs to be sending positive messages about the contribution that migrant workers make to the UK economy, and encouraging a more balanced debate with businesses about their future workforces.
“Contrary to the myth that employers recruit migrant workers to avoid training UK staff, our research shows that organisations that employ migrant workers are also more likely to invest in training and development for their workforce.
Rudd said the listing of workers is a proposal and would be part of a wider review of immigration regulations. 
Cheese added: “Greater transparency in workforce makeup can be a good thing, and the CIPD has long encouraged businesses to have open and honest assessments about their own diversity, in order to correctly identify talent gaps and areas for improvement. 
“However, a Government-mandated list designed to name and shame organisations is entirely inappropriate and sends the wrong message about tackling a complex issue of skills shortages across the workforce.       
“In the wake of Brexit, businesses need to think more strategically, particularly as retaining staff becomes ever more important, but they need a long term strategy from Government that seeks to set out a coherent plan to tackle the longstanding issues around productivity and skills in our workforce, rather than a series of individual targets designed to grab headlines. 
It is crucial Government works with employers on any changes to immigration or skills policy to ensure the UK remains open for business and ensure organisations can continue to access the skills they need to grow.”



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