16 May 2014 #Immigration
According to BBC News, the number of Romanians and Bulgarians working in the UK fell by 4,000 in the period January to March 2014, following the lifting of restrictions on nationals from these countries on 1 January. Despite these citizens now having the same rights as other EU citizens, it appears that we have not seen the huge wave of immigration prophesised by some politicians and commentators.
However, the Office for National Statistics figures show that the number of Bulgarian and Romanian workers in the UK is higher than last year – 140,000 were employed in the UK between January and March 2014, an increase of 29,000. Time will tell whether these trends continue.
These changes do not impact on employers’ duty to prevent illegal working though – employers must check every employee’s right to work in the UK before employing them. For details of the changes to carrying out right to work checks and the fines for non-compliance see our recent blog.