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MAC Call for Evidence – Have Your Say

MAC Call for Evidence: UK Business and Employers – Have Your Say!

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has been commissioned by the UK government to undertake a substantial research and analysis process looking at two key areas:

  1. The social and economic impact of Brexit on Britain, and
  2. How UK immigration policy can be better aligned to ‘modern industrial strategy’.

For many, commissioning this exercise has come far too late in Brexit proceedings.

Since the UK voted to leave Europe, the country has endured a lack of clarity, direction and unity among politicians – including the Cabinet – of the vision for Brexit Britain.

EU citizens working in the UK and UK expats in Europe still do not yet know for certain what their future immigration status looks like.

Media and public debate and speculation continue, and there is the pressing matter of a ticking clock to March 2019.

We can only remain optimistic that now the MAC call for evidence has been made, a clear decision on future UK immigration policy will be the outcome of the final report recommendations.

What these recommendations look like of course remains to be seen.

Economic migration has been the target of successive changes in immigration policy. The danger is that MAC recommendations go even further, hitting UK employers through increased fees and more stringent eligibility criteria, to the wider detriment of UK economic growth and prospects.

At this stage, for UK employers, the MAC call for evidence is the opportunity to ‘have your say’ in the future immigration policy affecting UK economic migration.

We would encourage businesses wherever possible to get involved.

Who should provide evidence?

The MAC has called for evidence from “interested parties from all parts of the UK”, citing “businesses, employers, recruiters, trade unions, academics, think tanks, representative bodies, government departments, etc”.

Given the scope of MAC’s research and analysis as specified by the Government encompasses “modern industrial strategy”, input from UK business will be critical.

What kind of information is the MAC looking for? 

The following guideline questions and areas of interest for responses have been provided. Importantly, responses are to be evidence-based, with reference to data and facts.

The list of questions is not intended to be prescriptive or exhaustive, however. Responses are also welcome on related areas, again where supported by evidence.

The expectation is that respondents focus on areas that are relevant to their experience, expertise, insight and, importantly, evidence.

EEA Migration Trends

  • Please provide evidence on the characteristics (e.g. types of jobs migrants perform; skill levels, etc) of EEA migrants in your particular sector/local area/region. How do these differ from UK workers? And from non-EEA workers?
  • To what extent are EEA migrants seasonal; part-time; agency-workers; temporary; short-term assignments; intra-company transfers; self-employed? What information do you have on their skill levels? To what extent do these differ from UK workers and non-EEA workers?
  • Are there any relevant sources of evidence, beyond the usual range of official statistics, that would allow the MAC to get a more detailed view of the current patterns of EEA migration, especially over the last year?
  • Have the patterns of EEA migration changed over time? What evidence do you have showing your employment of EEA migrants since 2000? And after the Brexit referendum? Are these trends different for UK workers and non-EEA workers?
  • Have you conducted any analysis on the future trends of EEA migration, in particular in the absence of immigration controls?
  • Have you made any assessment of the impact of a possible reduction in the availability of EEA migrants (whether occurring naturally or through policy) as part of your workforce? What impact would a reduction in EEA migration have on your sector/local area/region? How will your business/sector/area/region cope? Would the impacts be different if reductions in migration took place amongst non-EEA migrants? Have you made any contingency plans?

Recruitment Practices, Training & Skills

  • Please provide evidence on the methods of recruitment used to employ EEA migrants. Do these methods differ from those used to employ UK and non-EEA workers? What impact does this have on UK workers? Have these methods changed following the Brexit referendum?
  • Do recruitment practices differ by skill-type and occupation?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of employing EEA workers? Have these changed following the Brexit referendum result?
  • To what extent has EEA and non-EEA migration affected the skills and training of the UK workers?
  • How involved are universities and training providers in ensuring that the UK workforce has the skills needed to fill key roles/roles in high demand in your sector? Do you have plans to increase this involvement in the future?
  • How well aware are you of current UK migration policies for non-EEA migrants? If new immigration policies restrict the numbers of low-skilled migrants who can come to work in the UK, which forms of migration into low-skilled work should be prioritised? For example, the current shortage occupation list applies to high skilled occupations; do you think this should be expanded to cover lower skill levels?

Economic, Social and Fiscal Impacts

  • What are the economic, social and fiscal costs and benefits of EEA migration to the UK economy? What are the impacts of EEA migrants on the labour market, prices, public services, net fiscal impacts (e.g. taxes paid by migrants; benefits they receive), productivity, investment, innovation and general competitiveness of UK industry?
  • Do these differ from the impact of non-EEA migrants?
  • Do these impacts differ at national, regional or local level?
  • Do these impacts vary by sector and occupation?
  • Do these impacts vary by skill level (high-skilled, medium-skilled, and low-skilled workers)? 

How to submit your evidence 

You can email or post your response to the MAC call for evidence:

Migration Advisory Committee
2nd Floor Peel Building
2 Marsham Street

What is the closing date for responses to the MAC call for evidence? 

Submissions are to be received by MAC by midnight 27 October 2017.

When will the final report be published? 

The MAC report is expected to take 12 months to produce, further to comments by Amber Rudd. We expect a publishing date around September 2018.

Note that all responses will be made available on the MAC website. Quotations may be highlighted and attributed to the organisation and/or the individual.

Confidential evidence should be brought to MAC’s attention to be considered for exemption from publishing. The MAC remains however subject to Freedom of Information Act requests.

What if I have a question about the process?

The MAC is welcoming ‘clarification questions’, submitted to the MAC secretariat using the contact details above. These must however be submitted by 12 September 2017. Clarification questions and their responses will be shared publically by 29 September.

Stakeholder consultation sessions

The MAC has also advised they will be hosting a series of open stakeholder sessions during the evidence period. Contact the MAC secretariat if you are interested in attending.


We will continue to keep you posted of developments in the MAC process and wider immigration policy debate. If you have any questions in the meantime however, please do get in touch.

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