The charity sector is far from immune from the effects of Brexit. As the UK leaves the EU and imposes restrictions on the free movement of people, parts of the charity sector – particularly social work and residential care – risk facing a ‘perfect storm’ of high employee churn, skills shortages, low pay, and increasing labour demand.
The number of EU nationals in the UK charity sector’s workforce has grown substantially over the past two decades, more than doubling from 14,000 to 31,000 since 2000. They are largely concentrated in sectors such as social work, residential care, education and membership organisations, and tend to be young and highly qualified. While EU nationals currently make up a small proportion of the total charity workforce – around 4 per cent – in some key parts of the sector, such as social care, there is to be expected growing labour demand in the coming years.