The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) released a report on 10 October 2016, looking into the recruitment of UK born and overseas workers and their experiences in employment.

This is particularly relevant for Cornwall and the South West, as all of the sectors surveyed feature prominently in the local economy. They are:

  • Food manufacturing
  • Accommodation
  • Food and beverage services
  • Social care
  • Computer programming

Recruiting and keeping high quality staff is essential, regardless of their nationality and after reading this report it seems that many companies and organisations are to be congratulated. Key findings showed that on the whole employers appointed their workers on their ability to do the job, rather than where they originated.

Employers appeared not to find nationality in general a key ingredient in securing a job. However, 54% of employers felt that where foreign born workers were unsuccessful in job applications, it was due to a lack of English language skills.

64% of companies interviewed said that UK born applicants were most likely to be overlooked because they appeared to have a lack of enthusiasm, motivation and energy. This was in comparison to 30% of employers who said the same about overseas workers.

Where some companies did fall down was in understanding employment law with regard to foreign workers:

  • 28% of recruiters believed that they are allowed to advertise for candidates with English as their first language. In fact, companies can only request that applicants have English language skills.
  • Only 45% of employers knew that they had to ensure that all applicants had the right to work in the UK before employing them.

The report shows a generally positive and healthy attitude to overseas workers. Employers were shown to attribute positive traits to their non UK staff, such as productivity, flexibility, enthusiasm with a good work ethic.

If your company is thinking about hiring overseas workers, click here to get links to Gov.UKs guidance for employing foreign staff.

Click the links below to read the full EHRC report and the Executive Summary.