Britain will formally leave the EU at 11 pm on Friday 31 January. Whether this is a cause for celebration or sadness will depend upon your point of view. Regardless of how you feel, you will want to ensure that your current and future workforce is protected so that you can continue to meet your business objectives.
Concerns are emerging about the impact of Brexit on EU nationals who are currently working within the UK. However, a recent survey of 200 senior HR and Finance professionals found that around one third of those who employ EU nationals had provided no support regarding applications for settled status.
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development suggests a number of steps employers can take to mitigate the risks:
- Reassure your EU employees of their importance and the value they bring to your business. Let them know you are aware of the issues and advise them when you hear of any new developments that may affect their employment status in the UK. Help them to take any steps that are needed to attain settled status.
- Carry out future workforce planning and consider how your needs may be met, given reduced access to EU nationals.
- Consider alternatives to hiring EU nationals, for example by looking at other talent pools such as British older or disabled workers or the long-term unemployed.
- Upskill and train your existing workforce in order to reduce future dependence on EU nationals.
The clear message emerging from experts is that employers should stay informed and plan for the post-Brexit age. Up-to-date information can be found on the Government’s website and you can sign up to receive email alerts when new information is published.