Brexit and its effect on the Care sector

10 Apr, 2017

Brexit and its effect on the Care sector

No matter where you get your news from, you can’t help but see something about Brexit wherever you turn. Whether you are for or against Brexit, most people will agree that the future beyond Brexit will likely look very different from the past. So what are the sorts of things that will change, or will there really be any differences ?

The answer is of course hard to predict, but here are a couple of things that we can consider:

Supply & Demand – one of the main arguments behind the reason to leave the EU was to restrict the amount of immigration coming into the UK from Europe. It was said that the NHS, housing, education and other services have all been put under strain in the country by the large numbers of immigrants coming to the UK. If that is true and if post Brexit there is some restriction on the number of immigrants then there should be a reduction in demand on these services. On the supply side, EU immigrants make up about 5% of English NHS staff (, if this number is restricted then that could put a strain on the NHS to meet demand. However much has already been talked about the need to strike a deal to give existing immigrants leave to stay in return for a reciprocal deal for English ex-pats in Europe, so the effect on supply is more about future immigrants rather than past. Of course if there is a need for more workers in the care sector, then the government could allow for more immigration from other countries around the world, not just the EU.

Workers rights – many of our employment rules have derived from EU directives. The rules on the maximum working hours that can be worked in a week, rest periods, travel time etc all come from the EU Working Time Directive and/or EU court rulings. Would these disappear overnight after Brexit ? the answer is most likely not. However would they change over time ? Well possibly yes, but then isn’t that what the people voted for – for the UK Parliament to have the ability to make it’s own rules. How the rules change would depend upon the government of the day, so they could change for the better or worse depending upon your point of view!

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