One in three Europeans would feel discriminated against if job hunting in UK

One in three Europeans would feel discriminated against if looking for a job in the UK in the current climate.

Research conducted by totaljobs reveals that nine out of ten (87 per cent) Europeans living in the UK are worried about the potential impact of a Brexit vote.

In addition, half (49 per cent) of those surveyed are fearing for their job security, while over a third (37 per cent) for their personal lives.

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John Salt, Group Sales Director at totaljobs said: “It’s clear from our research that European workers in the UK are unsettled by the prospect of Brexit, and this may have an impact on productivity and employee turnover rates for UK employers. With the UK skills shortage already at a critical point, this is not a prospect many employers will relish.”

The study of 1,000 Europeans (non-British citizens of the European Union living in the UK) by totaljobs also found that one in three (33 per cent) would feel discriminated against if they were to look for a job in the UK in the current climate.

Spanish workers are most likely to feel affected (40 per cent), compared to a third (33 per cent) of Polish, 32 per cent of French and a quarter (25 per cent) of German nationals.

More than half of Europeans currently living in the UK moved here for work-related reasons (58 per cent), either for a specific job opportunity (26 per cent) or because of the buoyant job market (32 per cent).

Job satisfaction is high with 65 per cent of those questioned claiming to be satisfied or very satisfied with their current job. Respondents rated many aspects of their working life higher in the UK than in their home countries, including:

  • Salary (66% in the UK vs. 8% in their home country)
  • Career progression (56% vs. 9%)
  • Work/life balance (47% vs. 18%)
  • Benefits (44% vs. 9%)

Nearly half (40 per cent) of respondents said that the British decision to hold the Brexit referendum has negatively affected their opinion of the country and is forcing some (25 per cent) to reconsider their career options outside of the UK.

In addition, 61 per cent of respondents said their HR department have not been keeping them informed about the potential work policy changes if Britain leaves the EU.

The good news for employers is that despite their worries, the majority of EU expats in the UK (76 per cent) hope to stay, even if Brexit were to become a reality.

The determination to stay is strong; of those hoping to stay 71 per cent would be willing to go through intensive administrative procedures to keep living in the UK after Brexit.

Salt added: “Totaljobs knows how important a happy and diverse workforce is to business success, and to see that 65 per cent of Europeans in the UK are satisfied with their jobs is fantastic. To maintain and make the most of this, employers need to communicate with their employees about Brexit and seek to address any concerns they have.

“It is hard to predict what will happen following Brexit so employers are in a difficult position, however those who support their workforce through this unsettling and uncertain time will reap the benefits in higher staff retention and employee engagement rates going forward.”


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