Government proposals for business owners to disclose what percentage of their workforce is non-British received short shrift!

There was an initial mixed reaction from business owners from the announcement from Amber Rudd, Home Secretary. Some business owners spoke out saying they would refuse to do such a thing believing that their workers would feel insecure, unwelcome and scared. However, Will Beckett, Hawksmoor co-founder, reacted by releasing details of the make-up of his workforce. He commented that he was proud of his diverse workforce made up of 40% British employees and 60% overseas employees.

Following Amber Rudd's announcement, Sir Michael Fallon followed a matter of days later with his own announcement stating UK companies will not be told to list or name foreign workers they employ. He did, however, say that an obligation may remain to report their numbers. This would be to identify skills gaps or to factor in deciding whether to grant firms more visas for overseas workers. This would be to complement the existing "resident labour market test" that employers need to meet if they wish to employ non-EU workers.

The government addressed the matter as a "misunderstanding" rather than a "U-turn", and that the consultation on the proposal would take place. Feedback from businesses would be considered in forming the government's decisions on how best to collect evidence to respond to skills shortages.