IEDP, 7 June 2016

 

The IEDP Summer Seminar and AGM took place on 7 June 2016 at Linklaters in London. Our keynote speaker was Dr Leander Neckles, and it was a really interesting afternoon. Leander took us through some of the detail of The Immigration Act 2016, first giving an overview of the Act and then a deeper look at the English language provisions for public sector workers, and the new illegal working offences.This led on to impassioned discussions about these two aspects of the Act.

Leander explained how the previous Immigration Act (2014) extended the scope of immigration legislation into housing, bank accounts, driving licences, the NHS and more civil penalties for work offences. She went on to show how the new Immigration Act 2016 builds on the 2014 Act , but crucially it introduces:
  • More civil penalties
  • New criminal offences
  • New English language requirements for public sector workers
Some of the main concerns about the Immigration Act 2016 are that it:
  • Extends stop and search like measures which have been proven to disproportionately and adversely impact on members of BAME communities
  • Introduces new seizure powers
  • Is likely to make landlords wary of letting accommodation to BAME tenants
  • May discourage employers from employing BAME workers
  • Enables rogue employers and landlords to exploit vulnerable individuals
  • Makes it more difficult for individuals to appeal and secure justice.
Leander's PowerPoint presentation and the excellent briefing documents she distributed at the meeting are available here on the members' area of the IEDP website.

Our two group discussions also raised a number of concerns for EDI professionals. In terms of the English language provisions for public sector workers these included:
  • is there actually any need for this legislation - don't job descriptions and person specifications of public facing roles contain requirements for good communication skills already?
  • there is no definition of 'fluency' or of 'public facing'
  • each public body will have to define relevant standards of fluency - this is likely to lead to different standards for different parts of the country as well as for different jobs
The group discussing illegal working noted that:
  • people who are being exploited may be criminalised
  • particular sectors seem to be being targeted, e.g. restaurants, minicabs
 

 

The notes from the two group discussions - on illegal working and the new English language provisions - are also available here on the members' area of the IEDP website.
 
 

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