Now the votes are in what does Brexit really mean for businesses?


We summarise what effect the recent OUT vote could have on your business

Date: Tuesday 28th June 2016

By Aisha Oakley, Head of Outsourcing

In light of the recent referendum resulting in the decision for Britain to leave the European Union, there is uncertainty around how this will actually affect employers and their employees, particularly for businesses employing EU Nationals.

With no official date announced for Britain to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty there is a lot of talk of what the exit means and how this could affect employees and employers rights in the coming months and years.

With many employment law regulations derived from the European Union, the exit could mean that employers call into question laws around the working time directive and the already ‘unpopular’ agency worker rights.  Although, this would be a complex task and would involve a lot of work to unpick, we should be prepared that some things may change.

However there is a balance and if Britain were to negotiate a deal with the EU to continue to trade in the European Free Trade Area or European Economic Area, we could still have to comply with the majority of EU regulations.

Alongside the decision to leave will be the question of: what does that mean for workers from EU states who are already working and living in the UK?  It is expected that employees currently in the UK will remain as they are, but once terms are re-negotiated EU nationals may require a visa to live and work in the UK, therefore reducing free movement.  There will be a period of transition if this does happen.  It is likely that a points based system would be introduced in the future so that the UK only employs migrants in roles where there is a shortage of talent within the UK.

What we must keep in mind is that until new terms have been agreed with the EU, laws and legislations will remain the same – nothing is going to change overnight.  That can also be said for EU nationals working in the UK.  What is needed now is reassuring, calm and strong leadership from within organisations to ride the waves of uncertainty.  No-one can be sure of the short and long term effects such a decision will cause, but mass panic and hysteria are certainly not going to help matters.

At this time the knee-jerk reaction of any business, particularly SMEs, could be to think about cutting back, however investing in outsourcing your HR to a trusted firm could be the single most important investment you could make.  Experienced HR professionals will be able to guide your business and your people through Brexit ensuring you feel safe in the knowledge that if and when any changes to employment law are made, you remain fully compliant and your people are kept in the loop about what that means for them.  They will be able to handle any recruitment challenges or new legislations surrounding EU nationals as well as day to day administration and advising at a more strategic level.  This will free you up to focus on navigating your business on to the right path.

If you’d like some advice about how HR outsourcing could help your business during this period of uncertainty or if you’d like some leadership training for your managers please feel free to get in touch with us – or 0207 977 9200.

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