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| Charlotte Wills

Spotlight on: The MAC Call for Evidence

At the start of August, the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) launched a Call for Evidence in response to the Government’s commissioning paper...

At the start of August, the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) launched a Call for Evidence in response to the Government’s commissioning paper, focused on the UK’s immigration system and the impacts on the labour market of the UK’s separation from the EU post Brexit. The evidence requested is extensive. Let’s look at what this means for you.

Who are the MAC?

The MAC is an independent, non-statutory, non-time limited, non-departmental public body that advises the government on migration issues. It is formed of a chair (Professor Alan Manning) and three other independent economists.

What are they asking?

The Call for Evidence requests evidence from the public that the MAC will consider as part of its response to the Home Office's commissioning paper. It is broken down into three categories of questions:

  • European Economic Area (EEA) Migration Trends
  • Recruitment Practices, Training & Skills
  • Economic, Social and Fiscal Impacts


The questions are extremely broad in nature, including topics such as characteristics of a business' EEA workforce in the UK and how this differs from their UK and non-EEA workforce; the advantages and disadvantages of employing EEA workers and the economic, social and fiscal costs and benefits of EEA migration to the UK and whether these costs and benefits differ from non-EEA staff by sector, region, occupation or skill level.

Should I respond?

The consultation could have significant ramifications for businesses in a post-Brexit UK immigration system. This is especially crucial for employers who rely on resources from the EEA where local British staff cannot be found. 

We would encourage companies, business groups, think tanks and other interested parties to respond to the consultation and set out as clearly as possible, with evidence, the impact that a restriction on the ability to recruit and retain EEA nationals could have on their UK operations post-Brexit.

How long do I have?

The MAC has asked for evidence to be submitted by 27 October 2017. It then has until September 2018 to report its findings to the Home Secretary. 

How will the evidence be used?

The consultation will directly influence the shape of a future UK immigration system. It will help the Government define when a European national should qualify to work, study or otherwise live in the UK. For workers, we expect it will assess how and when immigration should be used to fill labour and skills gaps. It will also have some bearing on how long a person can stay in the UK.

Great, but where do I start?

If your organisation employs a high number of EEA nationals it may make sense to take a few preliminary steps. To begin with, you might want to let the business know about the consultation and as the MAC rely heavily on data, start to gather information on employee nationality, skill level and job role (among other factors).

Fragomen is working through the MAC's call for evidence in order to prepare helpful advice and tools to best assist you in a response. This includes a toolkit that will guide you through the consultation process and in formulating your submission. Contact your Fragomen advisor for further guidance.

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