Data shows post-Brexit immigration plans will hurt UK gig economy
The Government’s post-Brexit immigration plans are aimed at reducing the number of low skilled workers entering the country.
Along with the farming, catering, nursing and care sectors, it is highly likely that workers in the gig economy will be excluded
from the skilled category.
The proposals are likely to intensify the fall in immigrants coming to the UK to work. According to figures published by the Office
for National Statistics, EU net migration is now less than half the level it was at its peak and more workers from Eastern European
countries are leaving than arriving. This trend is already impacting the UK gig economy.
Ana Andres, co-founder of TidyChoice, a platform for independent cleaners analysed the source of their applications over the
past five years. TidyChoice receives over 10,000 applications annually and is a good proxy for the overall London gig economy.
“The rate of applications from Eastern European nationalities has diminished drastically since the Brexit referendum. Better job
prospects at home, weaker Sterling and Brexit uncertainty are the main reasons for the fall. We have maintained strong growth
in total applications by plugging the gap with ever increasing applications from other countries.
Currently only 40% of our applications come from UK nationals. Without overseas workers, it will be very difficult for us to achieve
our targeted 30-40% annual increase in applications that we need to support business growth and counter natural attrition.
The Government is calling on companies to “adapt and adjust”. We cannot automate in our sector and the pool of UK citizens
seeking cleaning work will quickly dry up. I am worried that without new workers coming to the UK, the sector will shrink and
consumer prices will inevitably increase.”
Founded in 2014, by Colin Weston and Ana Andres del Valle, TidyChoice is an online platform, offering home cleaning and
childcare services for London residents. TidyChoice professionals undergo a careful vetting process, to ensure customers can
choose from a trusted and reliable community of housekeepers. Customers can choose their preferred professional and
professionals can choose their own rate, hours and areas of work.
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