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24.06.16

We must avoid ‘hasty decisions’ to protect business and jobs following EU vote – CIPD

Peter Cheese, chief executive of the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development, the professional body for HR and people development, says that the government must take time to assess the impact of the decision to leave the EU

Now that the British people have had their say on Britain’s future relationship with the EU and voted to leave, it’s important that the government and UK businesses take time to properly assess the long-term impacts of any decisions that they take going forward.

The impact of a ‘leave’ vote is much bigger than simply changing the political landscape of the UK. It stands to have a significant impact on the world of work and future planning within organisations. We need a broad and thorough consultation between government, organisations and employees across all sectors and representative bodies. The CIPD will play its part in these necessary consultations, drawing on our strong base of evidence and experience of the world of work. It’s important that the government takes the time to really understand the impact of any proposed changes and works with businesses to minimise risk to individuals, organisations and the economy.

For most businesses, the immediate impact of this historic decision will be limited as major changes won’t be able to occur for a while. However, employment law, immigration and the ability of employers to bring the right skills they need into their business were key themes focused on in the campaign that will potentially be subject to change going forwards, and these things will no doubt be on employers’ minds.

Now is not the time for hasty decisions or knee-jerk reactions from government or employers. Evidence suggests that the UK’s flexible labour market already strikes the right balance between providing flexibility for employers and employment rights for workers. We would urge the government to bear that in mind when approaching any renegotiation of our relationship with the EU or considering any changes to UK law.

 Another key element of our flexible labour market is that it enables employers to access or bring in skilled and unskilled workers from outside the UK to help support business growth and address labour shortages in our public services. It is important that this is not forgotten in any reform of the immigration system.

Alongside the significant technicalities of a re-negotiation of a new relationship with the EU and possible further political change, it is vital the government continues to focus working with all constituencies on the very real and strategic challenges that continue to threaten the UK’s prosperity in future years, namely the productivity, skills and employment agendas.

(Image c. CIPD)

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