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UK employers and employees more positive about the effect of EU membership on working life compared to their European counterparts

Monster.co.uk research also indicates that millennial workers are most optimistic about EU membership with Generation X least impressed.

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New research from Monster.co.uk, in conjunction with YouGov, has revealed that UK employees are more positive than their German, Dutch or French counterparts when asked whether EU membership has had a positive effect on working life.

Over two fifths of UK employees (45%) compared to just over a third (37%) of German and Dutch employees view the impact of being part of the EU more favorably.  French employees are least optimistic with less than a third (32%) thinking membership positively impacts working life, and a quarter seeing it as negative (25%).

Likewise, over half (51%) of UK employers feel EU membership has been positive for working life compared to other EU regions, France (49%), Germany (43%) and Netherlands (41%).

The study polled HR managers, recruiters and employees across the UK, France, Germany and Netherlands. On average, across all four countries, more than a third of employees (37%) believe EU membership has had a positive effect on working life compared to a fifth (19%) who think it has had a negative impact.

UK viewpoint

In the UK, over half of employers (51%) believe that EU membership has had a positive effect on working life. Only 19 per cent of UK employees feel that membership has had a negative impact and nearly a quarter (25%) are undecided. Despite this, of all the countries surveyed, the UK will go to the polls next week in a referendum to decide whether they want to remain as part of the EU.

Generation and gender differences

Overall, men are more positive than women across the four countries surveyed. Over two fifths of men (42%) compared to less than a third of women (32%) think that the EU has had a positive effect on working life.

Forty three per cent of Millennials are positive about the effect of the EU on working life, almost 10 percentage points higher than Baby Boomers (35%) and Generation X (34%) employees, making them, quite distinctly, the most positive group regarding EU membership. The findings also revealed that over a quarter (26%) of Baby Boomers and a fifth (20%) of Generation X employees feel the that the EU has had a negative effect on working life.

Commenting on the findings, Andy Sumner, MD Monster.co.uk, said: “It’s interesting to see that Brits are the most positive about the impact of EU membership on working life, yet we are the ones set to decide on whether we want to leave. Perhaps less surprising is the Millennial attitude when it comes to the link between EU membership and work. We know that flexibility to move around and experience other cultures is hugely important to this generation’s job satisfaction. Whatever way the vote goes on June 23rd, it’s important for people to consider what impact remaining or leaving the EU will have on their job and use this to help them decide how to vote.”