The HR implications of the Leave vote

Following the landmark result of the referendum, interested parties may be inclined to capitalise or speculate on what comes next, but the immediate situation is fairly clear in that:

  1. There is no certainty.
  2. The willingness to push the Article 50 button (starting the exit programme) immediately is not universally popular, even among the “leave” campaign side – a fact amplified by the current political power vacuum at Westminster.
  3. The greatest uncertainty comes from uncertainty itself – how are the markets going to react in the longer term; what’s going to happen to the economy;  and, perhaps most importantly of all, if the economy does struggle and now that none of the rating agencies class us as “AAA”, how can we keep the nation’s borrowing under control?

As for the implications on UK employment law, much of the current legal framework either predates our membership or promotes rights that may be considered good for society as a whole. There are, of course, areas that are more controversial, such as agency workers’ rights and the uncapped nature of discrimination claims.

As you will be aware, any bid to leave the EU will be the subject of intense and lengthy negotiation. It is a huge task. The only certainty perhaps (other than uncertainty itself) is that the Government will have much more pressing priorities than substantially reforming UK employment law for a very long time yet.

When this situation changes, we will be the first to let you know.

What remains an immediate concern for employers is the UK’s woeful productivity figures, fuelled by poor performance and high levels of absenteeism among employees. To find out how to identify and combat these issues within your business, attend one of the remaining Hot Topic seminars on this subject.

For any other Employment issue, contact our Employment team.

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