Could The Recent Swiss Vote To Limit Migrant Numbers Have An Effect On UK Contractors?
In the end the vote went down to the tiniest of margins, but earlier this year the Swiss people voted to bring back quotas to limit immigration into Switzerland from European Union countries.
The final results showed 50.3% had voted in favour of the controversial quota system, despite the vehement campaigning of the Swiss Socialist Party as arguments became more and more bitter as the vote loomed. Switzerland is fiercely independent of the EU – although it has taken on swathes of EU policy in recent decades – and the result of the vote is likely to set Geneva on to a collision course with Brussels.
Here in the UK, there are also likely to be repercussions. Jennifer Patterson of the payroll and tax advice consultants Umbrella.co.uk is interested in just how the contracting landscape has been shifted by the Swiss vote: “Across business there has been a rather sharp of intake of breath following the news the quotas had been passed. The voting had been so close, and no-one side was a clear favourite. However, now the measures have been passed, we must look to the future implications, and contractors who find work in Switzerland need to make themselves aware of the changes made.”
“Although in the short-term little will change, the longer term view forecasts something like 80,000 fewer jobs being created. Notably for contractors, companies bringing in overseas workers will drastically cut back on hire rates. Employment growth in areas such as IT contracting or the construction sector will come down significantly.”
“Economic uncertainty will follow news such as immigration caps. Work taken up by incoming labour, seasonal workers and of course contractors will now find its way outside of Swiss border, inevitably outsourced. Will this negatively impact quality? We don’t know, but what is certain is that the Swiss vote on quotas does carry an impact all who work in or around the area need to be aware of.”
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