Poll reveals: EU citizens at risk

Business not ready for changes to UK immigration law

Our poll of professionals with authority over hiring decisions makes alarming reading for millions of EU citizens who will have a digital-only immigration status from next year.


The poll revealed that employers are struggling to understand both the new immigration system and the digital-only right-to-work checks for EU citizens with pre-settled or settled status.


Key findings include

  • Lack of clarity: only 14% of companies said they were clear on the new rules of employing EU citizens after free movement ends in December

  • Discrimination: 63% of small businesses are not confident they can hire an EU citizen only having checked their passport or identity card during the grace period next year (see below)

  • Lack of experience with digital-only: only 21% of employers said they had ever used a digital check. Unsurprisingly, this percentage was highest amongst the largest employers, but only 10% of companies with turnover less than £500k had used a digital check.

  • Employers who have used the Government’s digital right-to-work trial had a stronger preference for physical documents than those who had not experienced digital checks


The poll confirms the very real risk that at least one in five EU citizens may be discriminated against when seeking work.


The picture is even worse for next year’s grace period January to June: despite the fact that an EU passport or national identity card will still be sufficient to prove the right to work during that grace period, a staggering 50% of employers are not confident that they can offer this person a job. This rises to 63% amongst small businesses, with 38% ‘not very confident’ and 25% ‘not at all confident’ they can hire an EU citizen only having checked their passport or identity card.


Poll analysis and results in full: www.t3m.org.uk/t3m_EmployersPoll


the3million is campaigning to provide those who need it with the option of physical proof of their immigration status – please support us here: www.crowdfunder.co.uk/denied-my-backup and join our campaign at deniedmybackup.org.uk.