Skip to main content
Rebordering Britain & Britons after Brexit

Is Employer Sponsorship a Good Way to Manage Labour Migration? Implications for Post-Brexit Migration Policies

Abstract

This paper examines the implications of labour migration models that rely on employer sponsorship. According to UK government proposals, long-term migration into high-skilled jobs after Brexit will require workers to be sponsored by employers, while workers in low-skilled and low-wage jobs will receive short-term work permits that do not require an employer sponsor. The paper argues that choosing employer sponsorship over worker-driven routes has three key effects: it gives the government greater ability to regulate which jobs migrants fill; it gives employers more power over their workforce; and it increases the administrative burden associated with hiring workers from overseas. This implies that in high-skilled jobs, employer sponsorship is likely to improve the skill composition of labour migrants but reduce the total number of skilled workers admitted; and that in low-skilled positions the government faces a trade-off between the ability to channel workers to specific jobs (including those where employers struggle to attract workers) and the risk of increasing underpayment or exploitation.

You might also be interested in :

Labour immigration after Brexit: questions and trade-offs in designing a work permit system for EU citizens
This paper examines key questions the UK Government will face if it opts to end free movement and replace it with a work-permit system after Brexit.
'High-Skilled Good, Low-Skilled Bad?' British, Polish and Romanian Attitudes Towards Low-Skilled EU Migration
A new skills-based immigration system, with a preference for the highly-skilled, is central to UK policy debates in the Brexit context, arguably responding to majority public opinion on migration. Through qualitative fieldwork with British…
Low-Skilled Employment in a New Immigration Regime: Challenges and Opportunities for Business Transitions
In an era of free movement UK employers have had ready access to a supply of labour from the European Union to fill low-skilled jobs. This has enabled them to adopt business models, operating within broader supply chains…
The economic effects of the UK government's proposed Brexit deal
The focus of our analysis is on how the UK government's proposed Brexit deal is likely to affect the economy. First, we assess how trade, migration, foreign direct investment, productivity and contributions to the EU budget might change by reviewing current proposals against historical evidence.

Journal

National Institute Economic Review

Author

Madeleine Sumption (United Kingdom)

Article meta

Country / region covered

Year of Publication

Source type

Keywords