Inform #3 Maintaining labour migration in essential sectors in times of pandemic

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the substantial measures taken by EU and OECD countries to stem the spread of the virus are having direct and indirect impacts on the migration field. While the long-term consequences are difficult to predict, the immediate impacts are already visible. For example, the sudden plunge in economic activities significantly reduced the demand for work in sectors where migrant workers are disproportionately employed in many Member States, e.g. in the tourism or hospitality sector. For many firms across the economy, international recruitment was suspended or reduced, in light of economic uncertainty, restrictions on travel, and the shift to telework. At the same time, as the result of travel restrictions imposed, several countries experienced labour shortages, particularly in seasonal agricultural work.

This Inform covers third-country nationals who planned to enter the EU and migrants entering non-EU OECD countries as workers in some essential sectors (e.g. health- and care-workers, auxiliary hospital staff, agricultural workers etc.) as well as those already residing on a temporary or renewable basis in the EU and other OECD countries. EU mobile citizens are excluded from the scope of the EMN’s mandate, and thus also from this Inform.

The Inform covers developments in EU countries between March and July 2020, and through August 2020 for non-EU OECD countries.