With everyone talking about Brexit, the UK is unsure of where the future lies and what impact Brexit could have on HR.
Nick Soret of Nat West Mentor recently wrote a blog piece for HR News on the potential impact of Brexit on HR and training.
We also asked other HR experts what they thought. Here is a round up of what’s been said so far – and most of them seem wary of change:
Amir Kabel – Head of Diversity & Inclusion at Green Park expressed concerns about diversity and mobility in the event of a Brexit:
“There will be a clear impact on freedom of movement and full access to the ‘single market’. This will have an impact to the global/European talent agenda as it would seem less likely and a bigger hassle to move talent around Europe and globally. This can restrict diversity of talent across Europe. Furthermore, this will have an impact on International Mobility/Pension and Reward teams- exact impact is yet to be discussed.
“Diversity of Talent and internal mobility is key to develop and retain inclusive leaders and to understand the wider global diversity piece. Alongside this, cultural agility and awareness is key to build cultural competent business. Without the access to EU- there may be a fear of disconnect and lack of learnings and practice across Europe.”
Ann Bevitt, Partner, Cooley LLP said:
“The impact of Brexit for HR professionals will depend to some extent on the type of exit option the UK adopts, i.e. whether it leaves the EU completely, or enters into a Norwegian-style EEA agreement or a Swiss-style EFTA agreement.
“If the UK leaves the EU completely then the consequences for HR Managers will be serious and wide-ranging. For example, there would no longer be free movement of workers with other EU Member States, so those companies reliant on EU workers would need to think about how they might replace that lost talent.
“More generally, some of the UK’s EU-derived employment legislation, which is not popular amongst UK businesses, such as the Working Time Regulations and TUPE, may be relaxed or even repealed. These changes are unlikely to make employees happy and HR Managers will not only have to implement the changes but also deal with the inevitable worsening of employee relations. On a more positive note, relaxation of the Agency Workers Regulations could lead to increased use of agency staff due to a reduction in the associated costs, and thereby give HR Managers more flexibility. Additionally, the introduction of a cap on discrimination awards (if the EU requirement for “effective, proportionate and dissuasive” compensation is dropped) is likely to make many HR Managers who have been faced with meritless discrimination claims in the past as a means of avoiding the cap on unfair dismissal awards very happy.”
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:
“Working people have a huge stake in the referendum because workers’ rights are on the line. It’s the EU that guarantees workers their rights to paid holidays, parental leave, equal treatment for part-timers, and much more.
“These rights can’t be taken for granted. There are no guarantees that any government will keep them if the UK leaves the EU. And without the back-up of EU laws, unscrupulous employers will have free rein to cut many of their workers’ hard-won benefits and protections.
“The current government has already shown their appetite to attack workers’ rights. Unions in Britain campaigned for these rights and we don’t want them put in jeopardy. The question for everyone who works for a living is this: can you risk a leap into the unknown on workplace rights?”
Alan Davies, the newly appointed managing director to the FUW, was concerned about the impact a brexit would have on welsh farmers, saying:
“What would replace the current support in place for agriculture and our rural communities through the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)?
“We also need to know what our likely export quota for Welsh Lamb, Welsh cheese or Welsh Beef would be after a Brexit? What would the import tariffs for our products be?
“There are so many unanswered questions that any vote in the near future would be a dangerous step in the dark.”