BREXIT – what’s next for HR?

So Friday morning saw the announcement of the decision following the EU referendum.

Whether the result was what you wanted or not, many small business owners and employers will be asking what the potential HR and employment law implications are. So whilst things are still very much up in the air, here are our views on what might happen next.

First things first, let’s not panic – any changes are likely to take a long time to push through and any significant changes to employment rights and rights to work in the UK are unlikely to take place in the short to medium term.

This is a key point as lots of staff may be feeling anxious, particularly if you have any foreign employees from EU countries in your business. In the area we live and work in, we have a large Eastern European and Spanish workforce, many of whom will be feeling worried and possibly uncertain about their future, so it is important to stress to them that any changes will take a long time to enforce and will not impact their day to day any time soon. The leave campaign was keen to see the introduction of a points based system, so we may see this introduced at some point in the future.

Equally you might want to keep an eye on any animosity amongst the workforce. Reports of foreign workers being told to ‘go home’ have unfortunately reared their ugly head, so keep an eye out for this, and make sure any such behaviour is not tolerated.

EU red tape

A lot of employment law in the UK derives from the EU. I know a lot of people voted to exit in the hope that this would free the UK from some of the complex and tricky red tape of EU laws. However, it’s not that straightforward. According to the CIPD, a leave vote could in theory allow the Government to amend employment law if it could gain Parliamentary approval, the reality is that the legal framework under which EU-derived employment law is transposed into UK law is complex and will not be straightforward to dismantle even if there is the political will to do so. So again, it is very unlikely we will see any significant changes in the short term. We will keep you posted on this area as soon as any changes are announced.

Business as usual

From what we have seen so far, I think it is important that we act ‘business as usual’ so much as we can. We will keep you posted with developments as we get more information. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for the latest updates.