Brexit Breakfast

This is the first of a series of short blogs from the CIPD Midlands Area Partnership event.

First up I went to the “Brexit Breakfast” from Richard Barker and Abisola Latunji from Mills Reeve. Obviously so much is unknown and we discussed many potential changes to withdraw or change legislation. The consensus was that there would not be wholesale changes but perhaps a erosion of rights or a reduction in compensation limits etc. To my mind we’ve already seen the effect of increased fees on tribunals so this is slightly concerning.

Immigration controls are concerning people – many orgs are supporting staff to get permanent residence or citizenship. Bearing in mind recent headlines about EU staff at the LSE being told there are projects they can’t work on this is an area that orgs need to consider – commercial confidence and security are very real concerns in government but I hope it doesn’t set a precedent or mood. The recent comments at the Conservative Party conference about limits to foreign workers may prompt orgs to audit the immigration status of their staff – a potentially divisive issue. Also the fact that this is such a polarised debate that colleagues may disagree violently – we were reminded that our laws about equality will obviously still have real force but that we should give some thought to how we approach disputes.

Beyond that, we also heard from the floor that NHS orgs are having staff face racist abuse from their customers and another worry about skills gaps appearing very quickly if staff feel marginalised and choose to leave. There were fears about withdrawal of EU funding for research and development which may threaten the existence of organisations.

With so much still unknown about what Brexit will look like I felt our presenters did a really good job of reassuring the audience and offering some thought provoking content. They have obviously thought deeply about all the possible outcomes – to that end I’m happy to share their website which has more thoughts about the subject.

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