Answering the Brexit vote question for driver workforce

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Secretary of State for the Home Department, Rt. Hon. Sajid Javid MP Secretary of State for the Home Department, Rt. Hon. Sajid Javid MP CC BY v3 UK.GOV

Are drivers skilled? measure by salary - future immigration paper.

After the Tuesday vote, a paper titled ‘The UK’s future skills-based immigration system’ was published the following day by the Home Office. It aims to set out the UK’s approach to immigration after Brexit.

The proposed new system, which would be introduced in phases from 2021, envisages scrapping the current cap on the number of skilled workers that can be admitted from the EU or elsewhere, while there will be a consultation on a minimum salary requirement for skilled staff applying for five-year visas.

Talking to the IOC, Alan Lewis, employment partner with Irwin Mitchell solicitors said

The minimum salary of £30,000 required for skilled staff to apply for 5-year visas will, if applied to drivers, be likely to be prohibitive to recruiting anywhere near the numbers required for current logistics requirements.

DfT asked IoC for high-level employer/ Express operator input on impact of the vote on the transport workforce.

Fellows reacted quickly. An anonymous summary of the current position and how we may address shortages in the driver fleet was elicited.

The key answers below are headlined by drivers returning to their home countries as euro value of income against pounds earned falls.

Judging skill by salary value is a big issue and we finish this summary with a couple of national operator views on salary and immigration. Falls in driver workforce will have impact in the last mile, final mile delivery.


The sector needs an action on the minimum right to work criteria

Businesses have seen a decline in the available driver resources (Ernst Young quote 35% in 2018)

‘A significant number of our employees have left the UK to work either in their home countries or other EU countries. If this trend continues it will have a profound impact on the driver’s shortage.’


Are drivers skilled? (Criteria set at £31k salary to judge skilled workers)

‘Minimum right-to-work criteria for skilled workers will have a detrimental effect on available drivers’


‘We need drivers to be included on the government’s shortage occupation list.’


‘Government have set the qualifying criteria too high for drivers.’


‘Brexit is reducing EU National s entering the UK market’


‘Uncertainty in the UK due to Brexit is having an effect on driver availability.’


‘Pay rates are rising due to the lack of availability of drivers in the UK market.’


‘The new pre-settled and settled status for new entrants is costly at £65 per person to register’


‘Many of our in-house technology team are EU Nationals and we believe that it may cause us issues in terms of recruitment and retention of the top talent in this tech area in the future.’


‘We have had to review employee pay rates and also at the same time the ad-hoc resource rates through agencies.’


'Brexit is having a real impact on HGV driver shortage and wages. This is definitely becoming more problematic. Otherwise we have had no effects, but it's too early to define the impact.'



National express players comment on the wide-scale issues of Brexit on Express delivery sector

 ‘Once the outcome is known we need to address the pending changes for immigration and minimum salary expectations as this will deter even more drivers and people not to come to the UK, also consideration to assist either individuals or businesses in the costs associated in the Pre Settled or Settled status.’

 ‘It is concerning that there is still no coordinated plan for the UK’s exit from the EU and, like many businesses, we are taking steps in the UK to ensure that our customers and clients should not experience any reduction in the level of service they can expect from us after Brexit in whatever form that it may take.’

Last modified on Friday, 25 January 2019 20:51