The status of European workers after Brexit is something that is concerning the Freight Transport Association (FTA).
Freight is the latest in a long line of industry sectors that is concerned about the access to employees from the EU following the official date of leaving the EU, which is set for March 2020.
The FTA represents in excess of 17,000 logistics businesses in Britain and these organisations are crucial to the supply chain.
They are worried that the status of EU seasonal workers have not yet been resolved, despite the looming deadline and Brexit negotiations which are proving to be somewhat fruitless.
Sally Gilson is the Head of Skills at the FTA. She highlighted the vital role EU workers play in logistics and called for clarification now, otherwise the logistics sector will wilt under the skills shortage of UK workers.
“Logistics businesses keep Britain trading. But this situation could change drastically if the government does not allow continued access to seasonal workers. 43,000 HGV drivers, 30,000 van drivers and 113,000 warehouse EU workers currently help to keep the supply chain moving.
“However, due to the seasonal nature of logistics, access to temporary staff is crucial and this gap has been filled by many EU workers. We know the plan for those EU workers wanting to gain settled status, but not for those who came to the UK for seasonal work – the ones which businesses rely on to keep goods and services flowing.
“Employers need clarification on who they will be allowed to employ and the work these staff will be eligible to undertake, now, rather than in March 2019.”
The grave concerns regarding the potential of a no-deal Brexit have already been raised by the Mayor of London, who has revealed figures that show businesses in the capital – of all sectors – are worried about the impact of losing access to EU workers.
It highlights, therefore, that the concerns of the FTA have been repeated elsewhere and are in real need of resolution.