Two government ministers have confirmed a dramatic retreat on forcing firms to publish proportions of non-UK staff in their workforce.
Home secretary Amber Rudd revealed the plans at the Conservative party conference last week, additionally suggesting the government could “name and shame” companies with a predominantly migrant staff.
Rudd had hoped the plan could "flush out" businesses that were not doing enough to hire British workers before recruiting foreign staff.
Yesterday, defence secretary Michael Fallon and education secretary Justine Greening both nixed the plan.
Speaking on BBC Radio, Fallon said: "Let me absolutely confirm that is not going to happen, we are not going to ask companies to list or name or identify their foreign workers.”
Any data collected from companies would be used only to get a better picture of the extent to which different parts of the economy relied on foreign workers, he said.
And Greening said on ITV there would be “absolutely no naming and shaming” of companies.
Writing in the Sunday Times on the Rudd’s plans, Steve Hilton said: “It's not just that the scheme is obviously divisive and repugnant; it's insanely bureaucratic.”
The Leave-backing Hilton added that the Prime Minister is getting her stance “exactly wrong” by supporting a “closed Brexit” that targets foreign workers.
Hilton branded the government’s efforts as “pessimistic, inward-looking and negative”, and warned May could be ousted if unable to engineer a boost for the British economy.
“If she doesn’t provide it, you can be sure that the Conservative Party will come looking for a leader who can.”