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5 steps HR needs to take following Brexit

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The countdown to exit is on, but how does it affect your workforce and what should you do?

The terms of exit will need to be negotiated between Britain’s 27 counterparts. However, it's advisable for employers to carry out a review of their business at the earliest opportunity so you can be prepared.

1. Communicate with employees

Tell employees about the effect of Brexit even if you are unable offer up much information; it's best to tell employees what you know and keep them updated regularly. Employees will naturally be worried about the impact of a potential recession, downsizing and redundancies, particularly in organisations with operations in other member states.

2. Review your workforce

Understand the restrictions on movement for employees and potential shortages that could be caused.

Are there UK nationals in your workforce working in another EU country? Do you have EU nationals from other countries working in your UK operations?

Is your business likely to relocate any UK-based operations? Does your business need to downsize or make redundancies?

3. Tackle expat arrangements

Check the terms of any expatriate and secondment contracts between the UK and other member states and understand how you would go about ending the arrangement (should this be necessary) or what changes may be required.

4. Review immigration status of employees

UK and other EU nationals working in a different member state could lose their right to travel and work freely across the EU. Employers should review not only the immigration status of these employees but also the length of their stay abroad or in the UK and when they can apply for permanent residence under local rules.

5. Consider any likely skills gaps

Demand for your products or services could change as could your ability to offer them. It may become difficult to recruit or to move employees from the EU and vice versa, which could give cause a shortage of skills and the ability to provide certain services.

Zee Hussain

By Zee Hussain

Zee is an employment partner at Simpson Millar.

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