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Welcoming the New Arrivals? The Reception, Integration and Employment of A8, Bulgarian, and Romanian Migrants

PUTTICK, Keith (2006) Welcoming the New Arrivals? The Reception, Integration and Employment of A8, Bulgarian, and Romanian Migrants. Journal of Immigration Asylum and Nationality, 20 (4). pp. 238-254. ISSN 1746-7632

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Despite the EU policy and lawmakers' emphasis on the need for Member States to have in place effective reception and integration measures for migrant workers, including support arrangements for those who come to the UK from the Accession States (the ‘A8’), in practice it is clear that many new arrivals and their family members experience significant employment and welfare problems after their arrival. This is a problem that is not helped by their inability to access the State support that is generally available to UK and other eligible EEA nationals - for example income replacement when short-term employment ends, and before new employment starts. As the article considers, such difficulties, as well as being rooted in long-standing concerns about 'welfare tourism' are often, in legal terms, status-related. Access to such rights, and a range of other social rights, including social housing, benefits, community care and so forth, require the acquisition and retention of a number of types of 'residence' status based on either EU or UK law. The UK's ‘right to reside’ regime, restructured after May 2004 and now in the Immigration (EEA) Regulations 2006, and the re-enacted ‘habitual residence’ test (in the Persons from Abroad Regulations 2006)are controversial, and can act as particularly problematic barriers to support. As the commentary considers, some support schemes have their own specific, and complex, ‘residence’ tests, including the somewhat bizarre ‘ordinary residence’ test for tax credits that can treat a person from an Accession state who is living here, but who does not have the ‘right to reside’, as 'not in the UK’. Such approaches and restrictions are not helped by judicial attitudes when interpreting and applying this developing area of immigration law. This has helped to create what the Swedish government warned about in 2004, namely differential treatment leading to a labour market divided into ‘first team’ and ‘second team’ players. In the UK the effects of the reception regime's restrictions are clear from research showing the difficulties such workers can experience when jobseeking, and even later when they have gained employment. For workers who do not have the requisite residence status some significant limitations on access to even the most basic employment rights are erected. The article assesses the post-2004 employment and welfare regimes, making comparisons with approaches taken by other major host states receiving A8 workers, notably Ireland and Sweden. Consideration is then also given to recent developments in international norms relating to migration for work, including the International Labour Organisation's Multilateral Framework on Labour Migration (2006), and its promotion of a ‘rights-based approach’; and the UN Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and their Families (1990, in force from 2003).

Item Type: Article
Faculty: Previous Faculty of Business, Education and Law > Law
Depositing User: Keith PUTTICK
Date Deposited: 27 Aug 2013 10:39
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2023 13:39

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