The Freight Transport Association has warned that that the logistics industry “could grind to a halt” without EU workers, and it is demanding urgent clarification on the timing of introduction of new workers’ rights for EU nationals working in the UK.
EU workers currently account for 13 per cent of HGV drivers and 26 per cent of warehouse operatives employed in the UK’s freight and logistics industry. Some two and a half million people work in logistics.
Earlier this week the government set out its proposals for EU workers following Brexit. Workers who have been living continuously in the UK for five years will be able to apply to stay in the country indefinitely through “settled status”. However, clarification is still needed for the “cut off” date for arrivals to the country who have not been resident for five years, and this lack of information could have a significant impact on British business’ ability to trade efficiently in the coming months and years.
“The Government’s announcement on the rights of EU workers to remain and work in the UK is a welcome first step in enabling businesses to plan and manage their workforces,” says Pauline Bastidon, head of European policy.
“But there is still much to be done to ensure that logistics companies are not left stranded, without the skilled workforce required to keep Britain’s trade moving nationwide, and across borders to other nations.”