Brexit happens: Supply of labour

The ramifications of Brexit on the labour market and beyond are yet to be fully felt. While the UK’s decision to leave the EU was made over a year ago, ongoing negotiations with the European Commission mean that it is unclear as to precisely when the country will be officially divorced from the EU.

When this transitional period has finally been dealt with, workers from within the EU working in the UK will have to overcome many more administrative hurdles than they would have previously. Indeed, in a preemptive move, EU workers are moving out of the UK or deciding against coming to work here in the first place. As reported by the Guardian back in February, growth in the number of non-UK nationals from the EU working in the UK halved between June 2016 and September 2016, from an average of 60,000 per quarter to just 30,000. Considering that the UK is not officially out of the EU yet, these numbers are likely to fall even further.

In this way, HR professionals should think carefully about how to deal with any potential problems they might face with existing staff and in recruiting new staff, particularly considering the fact that many EU nationals who would have applied for certain positions may now be put off.

One of the first things to do is reassure current staff from EU member states that they are deeply valued members of the team and that the HR team will do anything they can to help with administrative issues regarding their right to work in the UK. Hanging on to valuable staff in this way is vital to attracting more skilled EU workers as it promotes a culture of diversity and inclusivity.

Finally, it is vital to think about how new immigration rules might affect workers in terms of salary, as it will be necessary for workers to earn above a certain threshold in order to secure residency in the UK. However, what is not clear yet is how these changes will be applied to EU workers after the Brexit negotiations are complete. In terms of recruiting new graduates, this pay threshold may prove to be too costly for most business. In order to attract new graduates and young interns to roles, therefore, demonstrate the benefit of short term experience and that a higher pay scale can be achieved in a matter of months or years with the necessary hard work.

If you need more guidance on any issues relating to HR in light of Brexit, don’t hesitate to contact Mango HR today.