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Should the recruitment industry be worried about Brexit change?

Executive Grapevine | Executive Grapevine International Ltd

With the UK’s decision to leave the EU, change is inevitable - but it may not come as quickly as some people predict.

Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty must be triggered in order for the UK to cease membership of the EU. Running alongside that is the decision whether to join the European Economic Area, become a part of the European Free Trade Area or enter a single free trade agreement with the EU.

All of these choices will have an impact on the free movement of goods, services and people - whether the impact is big or small.

So, how will change impact recruitment?

Dawn Ford, Legal Counsel - Europe and Asia at Volt, comments on the possible impact of the Brexit vote.

She says: “We’ve seen enormous legal change in the industry in the last 15 years, much of it unpopular.

“The EU didn’t mandate the Conduct Regs, or the Managed Service Company regulation, or the Pensions regulation or the Intermediate legislation, or the current changes to IR35. Our own UK governments down the years have been responsible for those.

“So like them or dislike them, there’s no reason to think that leaving the EU will make any difference to any of these pieces of legislation. So in the short and medium term, will it be easier to do recruitment business?

“No. But it won’t be harder either. The long-term we can’t predict until we know what will happen in the next two years.

“The real unanswerable question for our industry, is what our clients do. We may end up negotiating trade agreements which result in almost no change to the status quo for the movement of workers.

“But if our clients decide if they want an EU based hub, that’s something that the UK will not be able to provide moving forwards.

“We don’t know what the legal framework will look like in two years. But then actually, we never did. We could only make vague assumptions based on the political will of the incumbent parties, and down the years, political parties of every persuasion, have pulled some surprising curveballs.

“Change is the only constant. Change has always been the only constant.”

Executive Grapevine | Executive Grapevine International Ltd
Executive Grapevine | Executive Grapevine International Ltd
Executive Grapevine | Executive Grapevine International Ltd