Brexit woes: Shortage of EU workers forcing British employers to offer pay rises


Starting salaries rose in October at the second-quickest rate since November 2015

To cope with a shortage in workers from the EU, British employers are having to raise their pay offers to hire new staff, a group representing recruitment firms said today.

According to the monthly survey of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), the starting salaries rose in October at the second-quickest rate since November 2015.

REC’s survey also showed that the availability of permanent and temporary workers continued to fall sharply last month.

“We already know that EU workers are leaving because of the uncertainties they are facing right now,” REC chief executive Kevin Green said, adding: “We therefore need clarity around what future immigration systems will look like. Otherwise, the situation will get worse and employers will face even more staff shortages.”

Average weekly earnings are reportedly rising by just over 2 per cent a year, below the rate of inflation which has hit 3 per cent.

In a similar development, the Bank of England (BoE) said today that recruitment difficulties had intensified.

In its report based on the findings of its regional agents across the country, BoE said companies expected pay settlements next year to offer increases of around 2.5–3.5 per cent rather than the 2–3 per cent range seen during 2017.

Last week, the BoE had raised interest rates for the first time in 10 years to control inflation.