What do industry bodies and experts have to say about the UK voting out of the EU?
With the resignation of the Prime Minister, and outpourings of both shock and delight nationwide, June 23rd will go down as a historic day for the UK, as the country votes to exit the European Union.
There is still extreme uncertainty about the ramifications – uncertainty that could last for some months as we untangle the meanings of the referendum vote.
Employment and economy
According to Jelf Employee Benefits, employers have been caught unawares by the referendum’s outcome.
Only seven days before the vote, 83% of employers told Jelf that their company had no formalised plan in place should the UK vote to leave – with no respondents at all confident that they had any plan in place.
Doug Rice, managing director - international services Jelf International comments: “As the dust settles following the referendum vote, employers will be looking at how this decision may affect not only their UK employees, but also what this may mean for expatriate and globally mobile employees. The impact on pan European benefits including health and wellbeing will become clearer in time.”
Meanwhile executive search and cultural diagnostics firm Alderbrooke warned about the impact on the financial services industry.
Paul Cook, founder, says: “The UK’s decision to leave the EU brings with it huge uncertainty for jobs within the financial services industry. City institutions had warned prior to the vote that leaving the EU could mean job losses and movement of operations to the Continent. Decisions on job cuts and banks moving their headquarters outside of London will not be effective immediately – but the last thing the sector needs is months of uncertainty.”
“It’s likely that restrictions will be placed on EU workers within the UK workforce so companies should review their workforce plans”, adds Mark Quinn, head of Mercer’s Talent business in the UK, “particularly retail, leisure and services employers who employ a large number of EU citizens. New bi-lateral agreements may be required for those organisations off-shoring from the UK into the EU and we will also have to wait and see if non-UK multi-nationals will think it still appropriate to have their European headquarters remain in London.”
Pay and pensions
Quinn, Mercer, adds: “The restrictions and changes in the UK labour market for key skills at both executive and employee levels will impact on competitive pay levels in the UK and, of course, there may be an increase in costs for UK workers living and working within the EU, so companies will have to respond to that.”
The likelihood is that pensions will be affected – but the industry is desperately encouraging employees and employers not to panic: and to make sure they take advice.
Steven Cameron, pensions director at Aegon UK say: “If you have a defined contribution or personal pension, its value will be affected by stockmarket movements and if you are thinking of taking money out in the immediate future, we recommend you first seek advice. The UK Government might also consider other changes to pensions in response to wider economic conditions and we will be monitoring closely any possible impact.”
One of the biggest concerns around Brexit has been in the arena of the NHS, and thus (more indirectly) employee healthcare.
Commenting on the public’s vote, Stephen Dalton, chief executive, NHS Confederation, says: “The NHS has broadly benefitted from being in the EU and leaving it will undoubtedly have implications which are yet to be clearly understood. It is impossible to predict the full impact at this stage, but clearly it is vital that our government seeks a strong, nuanced agreement with the European Union that recognises how interwoven NHS and EU policies have become.”
How has the vote affected you – and what questions have you been left with? Let us know HERE
Meanwhile, Maggie Williams, editor and publisher of Reward, has written ten ‘need to knows’ about the implications of Brexit. Read more HERE