The Impact of Immigration on a Workplace

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Introduction: Problem Statement

Immigration rates in the UK, and indeed worldwide, have been quite substantial with most immigrants coming into the country either as asylum seekers, under the UN convention, or because of employment reasons. Most notably, many immigrants that characterize the UK workforce hail from former British colonies such as Ireland, India and Pakistan. It is estimated that the population increase in the UK between the periods of 1991 and 2000 was partial because of the immigrant population.

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In the year 2008, alone, it is estimated that close to 590,000 people came to the UK to live as permanent residents. In the same regard, 427,000 people left the country (Segal, 2010, pp. 136- 138). Europe in its entirety is facing the lowest population growth in recent decades. The number of an older population group is estimated to be more than the youthful population group. The number of the immigrant population is therefore set to increase in the coming years (Forbes, 2010). With these statistics abound, organizations are obviously impacted by the immigrant influx.

Immigrants whether legal or illegal have an impact on any organization. The immigrant population is quite a different form the authentic workforce in any organization. Currently, there are many immigrant workers employed in many industries. In the United Kingdom, most immigrant workers are employed in the construction, production, installation and repair, and agriculture industries (Great Britain. Parliament. House of Lords. Select Committee on Economic Affairs, 2008, pp. 16-20). Generally, immigrant workers have been a common problem to the government because immigration laws either fail to accommodate the changing landscape of immigration needs in local organizations and the whole country at large.

In this regard, there have been concerns across most developed nations about whether immigrant workers are taking positions reserved for the locals or do they complement the goals of the organization? The best way to comprehend this dilemma is through analysis of immigrant impact in the workplace situation. Immigrants definitely have an impact on the employers and employees alike. Immigrants have a direct impact on the labor costs of the organization and in the same way, have an impact on the expertise and skills needed for any job to be undertaken. Native employees are therefore affected by the immigrant population and so do job opportunities. This study explores the dynamics of the immigrant population in the workplace but from current economic and social statistics, the immigrant population impacts positively on most organizations.


According to Forbes (2010), immigrant workers have always exerted a downward pressure on wage differentials in most industries. In any organization, immigrants are bound to lower the wages given to most workers and this cuts the costs associated with production or service offerings. Organizations that essentially fall in the service oriented or construction industries are clear examples of these trends because immigrant workers often occupy low skilled workers’ positions (World Bank, 2005, pp. 43-45).

The more an organization employs immigrant workers, the lower it is likely to pay for their services. In America for example, many native born workers have been observed to leave or avoid certain types of jobs because of the low wages paid by employers (Forbes, 2010). However, immigrant workers have always had no problem taking up such jobs. The same scenario is also observed in Europe. In Spain for example, workers have always persistently decreased the wages associated with undertaking certain job descriptions and employers have had an easy time getting certain tasks done at cheaper costs, because native born workers are likely to demand higher wages. Immigrant workers have therefore cut down labor wages in many organizations and have also facilitated the completion of certain tasks which would have otherwise been neglected by the local workforce.

However, there has always been a conflict between immigrant workers and low skilled native workers. From the point of view of native workers, who undertake the same jobs as immigrants do, persistent wage decreases don’t add value to their lives. With the increased influx of immigrant workers in the organization, native employees have been forced to contend with low pay or else, seek alternative jobs because immigrant workers could do the same job for little pay. This makes much economic sense for most employers.

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Quality of Work

It is evident in some organizations that immigrant workers work extra hard to maintain their jobs (Forbes, 2010). In this regard, the quality of work for some immigrants in certain industries is always higher than the native workforce. However, this analysis is best conceptualized in organizations that require manual labor like the agriculture or the construction industries. Immigrant workers have always had different motivations to get work done than do native employees.

Immigrant workers do very little to disappoint their employers. They always want to maintain a clean record to maintain certain jobs. Tough economic times have prompted this observation because there has been an increased trend in both immigrant and native employees to maintain their jobs through high performance because job exchanges are rare in current times, than it was in the past. For these reasons, there have been decreased employment opportunities for most native employees and there is an increased need to stand out from other employees. Immigrant workers have been observed to be better at this because some have numerous responsibilities which can only be fulfilled through hard work. Some workers also provide better services to warrant promotion, so they can meet their local needs; or so they can be able to have enough money to support their families in their countries of origin. Employers have also benefitted from this situation because the organization gets better service and hence increase productivity.

Job Opportunities

There have been increased concerns especially in recent decades of decreasing job opportunities especially for low skilled native workers because of a high influx of immigrant population in most organizations. Forbes (2010) reports that; employers always prefer immigrant workers to native employees. This is because they are more productive than the local workforce. For this reason, the native workforce has experienced challenges competing for certain job opportunities with immigrant workers.

Organizations have therefore had limited opportunities for native workers. Illegal immigrants are also more aggressive than native workers in seeking job opportunities and some employers collude with them in offering job opportunities at the expense of native workers because they believe immigrant workers have a high motivation level than native workers do (Forbes, 2010). For example, the illegal immigrant population group, comprised of people in the age group of 18-30, is normally overambitious and would work in lower work standards because for some, the working situation is better than in their countries of origin. It is also observed that in areas or economic zones where there are many immigrants, unemployment rates are lower than areas with fewer immigrants (Great Britain: Home Office, 2007, pp. 15-18). This is an attestation to the fact that employers always prefer immigrants to the native population, thereby limiting employment opportunities for native workers in many organizations.

Job Displacement

Immigrants have evidently displaced many native workers from their job groups, essentially, to higher level job groups. This can be best conceptualized with an analysis of the minority workforce groups in various organizations. Minority, native laborers have benefitted from the fact that immigrants have taken up positions that were traditionally reserved for minorities in the organization and consequently moved to higher job groups (Forbes, 2010).

Nevertheless, civil rights movements have also complimented this fact, with many minority laborers moving to higher job groups and getting equal treatment to the majority labor group. Job displacement in many organizations has therefore benefitted existing native workers because immigrants rarely discriminate on the jobs they are given. In the hotel industry for example, there has been a considerable change in the job description of minority groups because African immigrants have adequately occupied most lower level job groups, thereby improving the job descriptions of minority workers. Consequently, there has been an increase in the number of native minority groups in white collar jobs. This trend has proved quite beneficial for native employees in the organization.


Immigrants have a positive impact in the organization. The benefits associated with the immigrant population are enjoyed by both employers and native employees alike. Employers benefit through lower operational costs and increased labor quality while native employees enjoy higher job groups in the organization. However, the immigrant population limits the job opportunities for the native workers but most organizations have treated this effect indifferently. Nonetheless, immigrants have a positive impact in the organization and their contributions should be positively embraced by employers any organization.

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Forbes. (2010). Immigration’s Impact. Web.

Great Britain: Home Office. (2007). The Economic And Fiscal Impact Of Immigration: A Cross-Departmental Submission to the House of Lords Select Committee on Economic Affairs. London: The Stationery Office.

Great Britain. Parliament. House of Lords. Select Committee on Economic Affairs. (2008). The Economic Impact of Immigration. London: The Stationery Office.

Segal, U. (2010). Immigration Worldwide: Policies, Practices, and Trends. New York: Oxford University Press.

World Bank. (2005). Global Economic Prospects 2006: Economic Implications of Remittances And Migration. London: World Bank Publications.

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BusinessEssay. 2022. "The Impact of Immigration on a Workplace." May 15, 2022.

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BusinessEssay. "The Impact of Immigration on a Workplace." May 15, 2022.