Why HR plays a crucial role in business after Brexit
If you’re anything like me, you’re probably tired of hearing the word ‘Brexit’; Hard Brexit, Soft Brexit, No deal Brexit, Norway Option Brexit. With no clarity and a bunch of vague buzzwords strewn across the media, it seems like a cryptic message that’s impossible to decipher.
However, it is an important issue and as Brexit looms with the UK set to leave the EU, HR will play a crucial role in ensuring disruption is minimise for both your workforce and business and help make some sense out of the scramble of information presented in the press.
First and foremost, it’s important to keep to ‘business as usual’ wherever possible. Reassuring employees that disruption will be kept to a minimum will go a long way to avoiding worries and confusion.
If you import or export products or services, have EU/EEA individuals in your business or have any other ties with the continent, then you’re likely to be more affected than domestic businesses who only deal within the domestic market.
If you employ EU/EAA nationals, HR can help assess what proportion of your workforce is comprised of EU/EEA employees and whether or not they perform business critical roles. From this, plans can be made with regards to supporting these team members through obtaining Settled Status. This could be done in a number of ways such as accessing Brexit helplines for advice or providing information and helping complete applications.
It would be wise to make plans for ongoing reviews of the right to work in the UK for all non-UK nationals.
Recruitment policies and processes will also need to be addressed. In a no-deal scenario, new EU/EAA arrivals will need to apply for Temporary Leave to Remain.
Being proactive and not reactive
It’s important to prepare as soon as possible and not wait for a decision on Brexit. Working with HR, management can get procedures and plans in place to prepare for each possible scenario – it’s best to over prepare than under prepare.
HR can help plan scenario ‘test runs’ to help you better understand the challenges you may face and the impact that they could have on your business.
HR can also provide support by helping assess which of your existing contracts and agreements will be affected by Brexit (i.e. who will be responsible for customs clearance, considering the impact of delays in supplying or receiving goods and how will personnel travelling between the UK and EU be affected).
Breathe HR software who are our recommended provider of HR software, have already put plans and steps in place to help manage their business throughout the Brexit transition.
Seize the opportunity
When change comes, good or bad, it’s important to seize the opportunities it brings.
Whether this is a good time for some ‘general housekeeping’, ensuring your workforce policies are up to date, look to improve relationships with suppliers or customers or perhaps review import and export processes and look at where they can be improved to minimise delays in a ‘No Deal’ scenario.
If you would to know more, speak to Hive HR Solutions about Brexit and find out how we can help best prepare you for the changes ahead.