The historic Brexit defeat and what it means for HR

The Brexit deal that Theresa May had been working on was rejected by MPs in Parliament. The deal that was put forward was rejected by both those who wanted to remain in the EU and those who wanted to leave. The outcome of the vote was one that was widely predicted and this has therefore meant that businesses and people throughout the country are having to face the uncertainty about the future situation in the UK.


After the rejection of the Bill, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn tabled a Vote of No Confidence. This vote was won by the current Prime Minister, after the DUP stepped in and supported May in the vote. This vote has however not helped to clarify the situation that the UK is facing.


During this turbulent time within UK politics, there are numerous different strategies that a business can adapt in order to create some stability.


Improve communication


With Brexit uncertainty continuing it is likely that many workers are feeling unsettled, especially those from outside of the UK. Therefore, ensuring that all staff feel reassured and settled will help prevent loss of productivity and disengagement.


Another way that staff can feel more settled throughout the Brexit process is by keeping them informed, for example, a business could use a newsletter, blog post or even a video for Brexit Bulletins. Glen Elliot, the CEO of Reward Gateway used a video in order to inform his employees about ongoing situations with Brexit and he said “I felt that the staff needed to see my face, hear the seriousness in my voice and see that I was speaking from the heart” (HR Grapevine, 2019).


Sponsor license


Within the UK there are numerous different industries that rely on migrant workers and yesterday’s vote may have caused doubt over businesses ability to attract the best overseas talent but also retain the talent that they already employ.


The Managing Director of Migrate UK, Jonathan Beech, commented that within the UK the large amount of doubt and instability is causing “anxiety and concern” within businesses with regards to the futures of migrant workers. One way in which business can regain partial stability is to apply for a sponsorship license, this will allow them to sponsor overseas workers to come to the UK and apply their trade. The benefit of this for a business is that they will have access to a larger talent pool.


Be prepared


After all the votes that have happened with Parliament, there is still no clearer picture on the outcome of the Brexit negotiations. Therefore it is possible that the UK will face a skills shortage in the near future. It is therefore important that businesses try to mitigate these circumstances. One way in which this is possible is by training current employees in the areas that you predict will struggle within a skills shortage.


CIPD has compiled a list of numerous recommendations to address within a business in order to mitigate the effects of Brexit, these include:


  • Redeploying resources
  • Outsource
  • Improve retention and attraction
  • Restructure work


If you have any questions regarding this article then please do not hesitate to contact one of the HPC team:

T: 0151 556 1975


Twitter: @HPC_HRservices

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