The Triggering of Article 50 – The impact to HR and to which sectors

With EU President Donald Tusk having received official notice of the UK’s plan to leave the European Union, HR Executives have weighed in on how they feel about the impending divorce.

With uncertainty surrounding issues such as worker rights and data protection, HR departments will be relieved to find that, throughout, the two-year negotiation process, these areas will be bound by EU law and thus protected.

And for companies who have significant numbers of EU staff, workers from the European Economic Area will continue to have the right to work and live in Britain over the next 24 months.

Prime Minister Theresa May has also stated she does not plan to overhaul worker’s rights that are currently derived from EU law

She said: “Existing workers’ legal rights will continue to be guaranteed in law and they will be guaranteed as long as I am Prime Minister.”

Despite the problems posed by turning EU law into UK equivalents – changes that will form part of a Great Repeal Bill – more than half of HR Executives believe that Brexit will not create a fundamental challenge.

A recent survey has shown that 59{e85120a690986c003b28f85c6b4de0e089ccbb3c964777e8593c25d2056b3cf6} of the HR Executives surveyed in the UK say Brexit is a normal disruption – like those encountered in the usual course of business.

The survey also found that 36{e85120a690986c003b28f85c6b4de0e089ccbb3c964777e8593c25d2056b3cf6} of companies have plans to attract and retain EU nationals – putting this facet of business higher up their priorities list. Furthermore it tells us that more companies are now seeing Brexit in terms of yet another business disruption that has to be navigated and their message to staff is business as usual.”

However despite the recent results the official triggering of Article 50 has led to even more debate around the implications of Brexit.

The British Hospitality Association (BHA) has come out and said that their industry, which is already victim to high turnover, a skills shortage and overreliance on EU workers, is looking at a shortfall of 600,000 workers a year if post-Brexit European Union immigration is too tight.

A report for the BHA by KPMG, which has been sent to 10 Downing Street, found that it will take a decade to reduce the requirement for EU workers by training UK staff. Currently, the sector comprises a tenth of the British economic wealth and is made up of three million workers.

As it stands, the Government isn’t revealing their Brexit strategy which is causing some concern with not only to the construction industry but to other industries like catering and hospitality whereby a big issue right now is a shortage of chefs. at present there are more roles to fill than candidates to fill them.

Depending on the deal that is struck with the EU regarding movement of labour, it could mean that industries will look to attract candidates from markets like Brazil, India, Commonwealth countries and wider a field.

It is now case of waiting to see what the next steps the Government will take and to see what will unravel over the coming months and what impact triggering Article 50 will have.