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HR News Round-Up Brexit

Posted On: 25/09/2018

‘Are we nearly there yet?’ This question has been asked so many times by children in the backseats of cars the length and breadth of the UK when a family embarks on a long journey. The same can be said about Brexit, the journey has certainly been lengthy with many twists and turns, and according to some officials – yes, we are nearly there.

At 11pm local time on March 29 2019, the UK is scheduled to leave the EU. But with what kind of a deal will we leave with? Will this date be extended to allow for further negotiations? We’ll all just have to wait and see. However, the uncertainty has already caused an unsettling ripple effect in many industries.

Impending Skills Crisis

According to the Open University (OU), Brexit is threatening the pipeline of skilled workers, resulting in many employers facing recruitment challenges [1].

The OU’s Business Barometer monitors the skills landscape of the UK and has found that three in five employers believe the skills shortage has worsened in the last year, and over half expect it to deepen over the next 12 months.

Many businesses have spent vast amounts of money plugging the gap caused by a lack of readily available talent. Due to these costs, more than two in five business leaders expect their organisation to struggle financially in the next year.

David Willett, corporate director of The Open University, said: “With employment at an all-time high, which means there are fewer workers available for low-skilled roles and many workers sticking in their jobs due to uncertainty around Brexit, our labour market has become stagnant – and is leaving organisations without the skills they need to achieve their goals and targets.”

"Essentially, we have a supply and demand issue, which is seeing employers pay more to recruit or plug gaps with temporary workers – at a total cost of £6.3 billion. But this approach is treating the symptoms rather than the illness; the reason business leaders are forced to spend so much is down to the fundamental lack of high-level skills. Organisations need to take a more sustainable, long-term approach, building talent through training rather than buying it in."

Brexit Threatens Jaguar

Jack Downey MP was quick to tweet that Brexit now threatens the jewel in the crown of British manufacturing excellence as Jaguar announced that thousands of its Castle Bromwich plant workers will move to a three-day week until Christmas [2]

Jaguar Land Rover had to make the decision to reduce production as it juggles with the problematic conditions caused by the uncertainty of Brexit, a slump in the sales of diesel-powered cars and confusion over the government policy on diesel engines.

Good News for Farmers?

EU agricultural subsidiaries worth more than £2billion annually will end after Brexit. Big decisions must be made by policymakers about what sort of rural economy Britain wants, and how best to deliver it [3].

A number of Exmoor farmers view leaving EU as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity; a chance to reshape agricultural policy. A group of like-minded farmers have banded together and come up with their own proposal for a post-Brexit future, they call their vision ‘Exmoor’s Ambition’. This concept is a progressive new concept for sustaining and enhancing Exmoor’s farmed landscape and communities [4].

Robin Milton, Chair of Exmoor National Park Authority, said: “We have a once-in-a-generation chance to develop a better home-grown policy for world-class landscapes like Exmoor after Brexit. But we need to act now, which is why we’re asking the Secretary of State for the opportunity to trial our scheme and show the UK a different way of farming centred on the many public benefits provided by the countryside. If we get the green light soon, the lessons learned could be applied to other upland areas before Brexit bites.”

There’s Summit About Brexit

If, like us, you’re keen to keep up to date with the latest news, here are the key dates to put in your diary [5]:

23 to 26 September: Labour conference

30 September to 3 October: Conservative conference

18 & 19 October: EU Summit in Austria where (hopefully) all sides agree to the terms of the withdrawal agreement.

November 2018: A date will be set this month for an Emergency EU Summit if an agreement was not decided during October’s EU Summit.

13 & 14 December: EU Summit. The final chance to agree on a deal.

November 2018 to January 2019: UK could vote on Brexit deal.

March 2019: EU Summit to ratify Brexit deal

29 March 2019: Brexit day

Contact Us

If you have any concerns regarding Brexit and how it may affect your business, please call our friendly team of HR specialist on 0161 941 2426.


[1] HR Magazine – Brexit skilled shortage

[2] BBC News

[3] Financial Times

[4] Exmoor National Park

[5] The Independent

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