Migration after Brexit: the challenge for labour standards 2017

Submitted by sglenister on Mon, 05/12/2016 - 16:59
15/03/2017 09:30

Wednesday 15 March 2017

A one-day conference
Unite the Union, Theobald’s Road, London WC1X 8TN
9.30am - 3.15pm

Organised by the Institute of Employment Rights and sponsored by the British Academy for Mid-Career Fellowship and the British Academy for the Humanities and Social Sciences

About the Conference

As migration to Britain has grown since the 1990s, it has led to a debate over weak labour standards, and the flexible and deregulated character of the labour market regime. Do employment law and immigration policy, including their respective enforcement systems, ensure equality of opportunity and treatment as between migrants and UK resident workers? Are they strong enough to protect migrants against exploitation and more serious forms of abuse in the workplace?

These questions have become especially urgent with the referendum decision to leave the European Union, not least because of the public concerns over the effects of immigration that contributed to that decision. Substantial labour migration is however likely to continue after Brexit, at all skill levels, given employer demand for workers, and a supply of workers in other countries.

The central question of the conference will be how to achieve an egalitarian and protective labour market regime, including migration policy and labour standards. If there is a ‘soft’ Brexit, with free movement of persons continuing, labour standards reform, with better guarantees of equal treatment and high standards at work, will be needed in order to ensure public support for migration. If there is ‘hard’ Brexit, with an end to the free movement of labour from other EU countries, public policy will also need to ensure the protection of increased numbers of migrant workers with temporary status, or lacking permission to work.

The conference will cover migration policy after Brexit, both from the EU and from elsewhere in the world, and the implications of future labour migration patterns for labour standards. The speakers will bring extensive expertise to the subject, as academics, campaigners and trade unionists.

The conference will build upon previous work by the Institute of Employment Rights on the links between migration and employment law, reflected in earlier publications on Labour migration and employment Rights (2005) and Labour migration in hard times (2013).


A discount is available to those who pay upfront (before the date of the conference) either online or by cheque. Those who pay by invoice will pay full price.

Payment up front

£75 Subscribers and members
£90 trade unions
£220 Commercial

Payment by invoice

£80 Subscribers and members
£100 trade unions
£240 Commercial


Unite the Union
Theobald's Road

Additional Information

Click here for information on how to book, who should attend and CPD, NPP and EPP Accreditation


Three easy ways to book your place

  1. Book online:
    Please select the appropriate option from below
    Delegate name(s):
    Name of union/organisation:
  2. Book by cheque by filling out our registration form and returning it to us by post
  3. Book by invoice by filling out our registration form and returning it to us by post


Bernard Ryan, University of Leicester
Labour migration after Brexit: New questions, new answers

Don Flynn, Migrant Rights Network
Migrant exploitation and community-based resistance

Susan Cueva, UNISON
Brexit and organising migrants

Diana Holland, Unite the Union
Migration after Brexit, the challenge for labour standards

Alex Balch, Liverpool University
Brexit, exploitation and modern slavery

Alan Bogg, University of Oxford
Recent developments in the law on illegality and migrant workers

Owen Espley, War on Want
Migrants, precarious employment and workers’ rights

Sonia McKay, London Metropolitan College
Undocumented migrants, employers and sanctions

Click here to download the full programme

Event flyer Brexit migration labour standards.pdf1.46 MB

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