HR Implications of a Brexit

May 31, 2016
Brexit HR Implications

With the EU referendum just around the corner, there is a lot of confusion within organisations across the UK as to what will happen if Britain leaves the European Union. According to an article published by CIPD, most Europeans working in the UK feel as if HR departments have not done enough to explain the implications of Britain leaving the EU.

Here are a few other interesting statistics, published in the same article, about Europeans currently working in the UK:

– 9 in 10 are worried about the potential impact of the EU referendum
– 49% fear for their job security
– 61% say HR has not kept them well enough informed

The article states that there is so much confusion regarding what will happen if Britain leaves the EU, that some companies have banned discussion of the topic altogether!

What’s the Current Picture?

As of right now, there are more than 2 million EU workers in the UK. This makes up about 6 and a half percent of our nation’s total workforce.

Research by Oxford University’s Migration Observatory suggests that three quarters of EU citizens would not meet the current visa requirements that are in place for non-EU workers. Of course, if Britain left the EU, we cannot assume that these requirements would stay the same – in the event of a “Brexit”, I’d like to think that the government would conduct a review of visa requirements, with the intention of minimising disruption caused by a vote to leave.

What are You Doing to Address Employee Concerns?

Regardless of whether Britain leaves the EU or remains, I think that the important thing for employers to be doing right now is communicating about the potential implications with their employees. If you’re currently burying your head in the sand and hoping that nothing will change, then your employees who are worried about this referendum result will be losing confidence in your leadership. You don’t need to know all of the ins and outs about possible implications of Britain leaving the EU to put your workforce at ease, you simply need to make it clear that you will listen to their concerns, and do your best to find out as much as you can to help them relax.

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