The UK after Brexit

Article 1


HR Decision Makers in the UK are facing a tough time with hiring choices ahead of Brexit and the legislative changes this will bring. We asked a selection of our panel, across businesses from sole traders to those in large enterprises, how Brexit was affecting them.

Splitting the sample into small (0-249 employees) and Large companies (250+ Employees) we saw some differences in attitudes. These were perhaps reflecting how larger companies can be more tied down by process and legislation.

Small and Medium (SMEs) employs 60% of the UK workforce and weight 99.9% of UK business units. They generate 47% of the country turnover. On the other hand, large companies (0.1% of UK units) represent 53% of UK turnover. *

Freedom of movement and hiring are obviously top of mind for everyone involved in HR.

56% agreed that changes in freedom of movement act would have no effect on their business. Although 40% of large businesses agreed they think twice about hiring non-British employees, only 25% of small businesses agreed with this. More small businesses (40%) disagreed with this statement. With so little clarity on how the rules may change, businesses have to make the most of what we know so far.

The most positive take away from the survey were around new opportunities with 47% of business agreeing (somewhat or strongly) that Brexit will present new opportunities. 25% disagreed, with 28% in the middle.

The sentiments in our open question revealed a large amount of uncertainty and also quite a few people with a neutral stance who feel no affect as yet. This is played in our question on future headcount. 69% expect headcount to remain the same. That is the case in small businesses with 75% more so than in large business with 60%. Only 9% of respondents expect a decrease, while 19% report they expect to grow.

Fieldwork conducted from the 13th – 19th January 2017 using the Norstat UK panel. Respondents were screened on involvement with Human Resources. Base size: 208 respondents

*Source: ONS November 2016