Now that summer has gone…winter and Brexit are coming (maybe)!
We are now heading rapidly towards October, and it’s only natural, after the glow of our summer break starts quickly to fade, for our minds to start moving to Christmas!
However, before buying and wrapping any early Christmas presents, businesses will have to navigate Brexit (or not, depending on how things twist and turn!). As you will no doubt be aware from the many Halloween-related puns in the press, the current deadline or “leave date” is 31 October 2019.
We still aren’t certain what Brexit will look like, or how it will affect business. However, one thing that is certain from an employer’s point of view is that we need to be prepared for change.
Whilst preparations are hamstrung by the fact that there are still so many moving pieces to the Brexit puzzle, the Confederation of Business Industry (CBI) has stressed that employers should be planning as best they can now, rather than waiting for a “trick-or-treat” moment on Halloween.
The CBI has proposed 200 recommendations for businesses, the government and the EU to consider in order to be thoroughly prepared for a no-deal scenario in its report titled What comes next? The business analysis of no deal preparations. The HR and employment law specific considerations are minimal, but the CBI recommendations include identifying steps that HR teams can be taking to help communicate and support EU employees whose right to work status could be affected.
Our view is that communication with employees over the coming months is key. Brexit will naturally be unsettling for employees who may be affected, and the changes, together with a looming deadline, are likely to increase stress and anxiety levels amongst staff. Working with and communicating with employees to limit the impact on them is likely to help manage these anxiety levels.
The report ultimately recommends that employers focus on strong leadership and communication with employees, and it is worth reading to help employers understand what they could be doing to prepare ahead of what could be an eventful (and potentially spooky) Halloween.