Hold on to Prized Works Over Brexit - Guest Post

by Stuart Milne

Wednesday, May 10th, 2017

The UK’s exit from the EU Will Lead to Uncertainty so Keep Your Friends Close says Scottish PR Agency Client

Graham Millar by Scottish PR Agency By 
Graham Millar

We have been second-guessing the UK approach to Brexit since the referendum outcome, so to have Theresa May confirm time and again that the intended outcome will be a hard Brexit gives clarity on what issues are likely to face employers in the coming years.

Although there are assurances that EU nationals already working within the UK will have some level of security and that the fundamental rights and protections available to all UK workers and employees which derive from our EU membership will (largely) be safe, we are at the early stages of a long game of poker.

Theresa May has attempted to take the wind out the sails of her European counterparts, most of whom seemed to be anticipating some sort of cherry-picking approach by the UK Government.

It may just be her bargaining style, or some sort of bluff, but is there anything that UK employers need to be putting in place now, to make sure that when (or if) Brexit happens, you are prepared?

Ultimately, there is not a huge amount of positive action that most employers can take to protect their business. However, it is our view that companies keen to make the most of this new era should continue to gather the best talent they can from the wider pool of Europe.

Many businesses rely upon EU nationals, particularly those within the construction, care and service sectors.

With tighter immigration we may see the employment of non-UK nationals becoming increasingly difficult unless and until you can establish that you have mined the local talent pool, or there is some other justification for offering this individual employment. Although the Government have previously stated that those EU nationals already employed will be protected, the waters have since been muddied somewhat.

Still, it remains likely that there will be protection for those EU nationals employed at the point of Brexit, simply to keep the wheels of industry moving.

Gather your talent from the whole of the EU while you can and ensure that those EU workers have the appropriate registration as a qualified person to ensure that both they and you can be as safe and secure as possible.

There are around 1.2 million UK nationals living in another EU country of which 800,000 are working while there are around 3.3 million people born in another EU country who now live in the UK, of whom approximately 2.1 million are working.

It is unlikely that the negotiating parties would sign up to a deal whereby everyone has to go through complicated immigration procedures just to stay put.  I’m certain that none of the negotiating parties would want to (or be able to in terms of the Vienna Convention) kick out ‘foreign’ workers.

Having said all that, everything can change as the negotiations proceed.  Watch this space!

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