WORK>INT: Assessing and enhancing integration in workplaces January 2014 – June 2015


This project explores the micro-level experiences of integration through a case study of a sector of the economy that is increasingly reliant on migrant labour: healthcare. Migrants represent a growing share of the healthcare workforce in Europe and their role is increasingly crucial for the functioning of this sector. However, there is limited knowledge of the dynamics, obstacles, strategies and practices relating to integration at workplace level, from the perspectives of migrant workers, and particularly those at the higher-skilled end of the health sector workforce.

Research is conducted across five European cities (Dublin, Hamburg, Oxford, Madrid and Turin) using a single framework to allow for in depth cross-country comparison. COMPAS researchers will be responsible for assessing and analysing the state of integration of migrant workers in the UK health sector. The primary research will focus in particular on daily work and interpersonal interactions among workers within the hospital; on the degree of inclusiveness of workers from diverse cultural, religious and social backgrounds in the hospitals; on the valorisation of migrant workers’ skills and on their contribution to the competitiveness and efficiency of the health structures. In doing so, the project will focus attention on the importance of workplaces as sites of integration and also look at the roles that public authorities, employers and workers’ organisations can play in this area.

Principal Investigator

Hiranthi Jayaweera


Helen McCarthy


European Integration Fund

Professionals' Advisory Group

Fieri Forum Internazionale Ed Europeo Ricerche Sull’Immigrazione (FIERI)
Universitat Complutense de Madrid
Hamburgisches WeltWirtschafts Institut (HWWI)
Trinity College of Dublin (TCD)
The International Organization for Migration (IOM)

News & Media

Are migrant health professionals welcome in the UK?
Blog | COMPAS Communications

Boom and Bust: Where do migrant health professionals fit into the reforming NHS?
Blog | COMPAS Communications

Integration: a European research agenda
Blog | COMPAS Communications


Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain, UK


European UnionHealthIntegrationLabour MarketsPolicies




Understanding individual, societal and policy facilitators of and barriers to integration in the workplace with reference to structural, cultural, social and political/civic participation domains, and identity.


The UK component of the project will use documentary evidence and existing descriptive data to build a background picture of the regulatory framework surrounding migrant health professionals, and of their presence in the UK health sector. It will also use in depth qualitative research in local hospitals, including interviews with hospital management, migrant health professionals (especially physicians and nursing/midwifery staff) and their UK-born colleagues in order to understand the processes and dynamics from a number of different perspectives. The qualitative component will also include interviews with key stakeholders, such as the General Medical Council, Nursing and Midwifery Council, policy makers, professional associations and trade unions.


NHS equality policies focus too narrowly on ethnicity
Other Publications | COMPAS Communications | 2016

Consistent Support and Mutual Learning Required
Other Publications | COMPAS Communications | 2015

Research Report: Workplace integration of migrant health workers in the UK
Reports | Hiranthi Jayaweera & Helen McCarthy | 2015

Background report: Migrant workers in the UK healthcare sector
Reports | Hiranthi Jayaweera | 2015

Each country team produced a background research paper on the professional and immigration regulatory framework and the nature and composition of the health sector workforce. This was complemented by an in depth qualitative paper on experiences of integration at the micro level. The research reports from the five countries were brought together in an edited open access e-book.


Each country team will organise a stakeholder forum with policy makers, representatives from professional associations and regulatory bodies, and other relevant experts to share preliminary findings, examples of best practice and to gain feedback. Finally, the findings will be brought together in a comparative paper aimed at EU level policy makers. This will be presented to an EU level stakeholder event organised by the International Organization of Migration (IOM) in Brussels.