It’s difficult to avoid hearing the word Brexit in society today. While many would rather we either forget about the whole thing or efficiently put a plan in place to deliver it, a large portion of people across a variety of industries and sectors are wondering: how will Brexit affect me? Indeed, whenever a major shake-up that might affect an economy occurs, employment is one of the first issues that people think about. So, what does Brexit mean for employment in the UK – and how can HR managers ensure they are prepared to answer employees’ questions about it?
HR Managers Should Arm Themselves with Brexit Information
The HR department should be the first port of call for such queries, and HR managers should know exactly how to answer any questions and understand exactly what might happen – even if the government themselves seem shaky on the facts at times. Indeed, the DailyFX Brexit timeline shows us the rollercoaster that the process so far has been, providing a month-by-month breakdown from the unexpected vote in favour of Brexit to the present.
But where can information be found, especially if there seems to be none available from official sources connected to the government? The FTSE 100 live is a valuable resource for finding out exactly how companies are faring and how Brexit news and updates have affected them and their value, so following a live FTSE 100 chart can be another method by which you can find out information on how companies are performing. How the best companies – such as those listed on the FTSE live – are doing can indicate how smaller firms may be handling situations as well as larger ones, who may be able to survive in the toughest economic situations. Smaller firms help give a more accurate picture of how economic issues are affecting people. Employees may be concerned, so it’s important for HR departments to arm themselves with as much information as possible on what might happen in order to put colleagues’ minds at rest.
What Brexit Means for Employment
The Institute of Employment Studies is another resource for understanding the possible impact of Brexit, from which we can see that approximately 2.15 million EU nationals are working in the UK, making up 7% of the workforce. Changes to living situations will affect this number, meaning low-skilled jobs may be left vacant. Or, it may mean that EU nationals are feeling less secure and will need to be fully informed of their position in a company.
Some businesses will shift operations overseas to remain a part of the single market – in fact, we have already seen £1 trillion of capital from the financial sector move out of London so as to remain unaffected. Pay may be affected either way: if immigration increases to fill the low-skilled jobs, pay will take a cut. If, however, the low-skilled jobs need workers, pay may increase in order to incentivise British nationals to take up some of these jobs. Some suggestions on the removal of EU directives and regulations regarding employment may also have an effect, from overtime and the EU-enforced written statement of employment. This may mean that employees find they are working longer hours or that the state of their employment is in a more precarious position.