Brexit and the big challenges for Human Resources

A survey undertaken by Jelf Employee Benefits just two weeks after the UK’s historic Brexit decision shows how HR and Finance professionals consider this outcome will impact on their own job roles, and the wider businesses they represent. By theHRDirector.com, 18-Aug-16.

The poll was undertaken on 8th July among more than 200 senior HR & Finance representatives. Almost 3 in 4 employers (72 percent) suggested that the outcome of the EU referendum would result in additional work or challenges for the Human Resources department of their employer. Indeed, half (50 percent) of the respondents had already issued formal updates to their employees following the EU referendum result, with most of this grouping issuing updates to all employees regardless of grade or status.

Commenting on the above findings Steve Herbert, head of benefits strategy for Jelf Employee Benefits said: “Firstly, it is reassuring that so many employers have taken immediate steps to communicate with their workforce following the referendum result.

These are uncertain times for the UK, and it is important that employees are kept informed as to the likely impact on their employer, and indeed their own specific job roles.

“Employers already recognise the challenges that may now lie ahead.  HR departments in particular are likely to be at the sharp end of any organisational and employment changes, so it will be ever more important that employers support and resource such teams throughout this potentially challenging period.”

Jelf Employee Benefits also asked employers if they had taken any immediate action to control “discretionary” business spending following the result of the referendum. More than half the respondents (54 percent) had not, yet it is worth noting that 16 percent of employers had taken some limiting action within 10 working days of the poll result.

Herbert continued: “Our findings suggest that some employers are already taking steps to control business spending until the political and economic ramifications of this outcome are better understood. “Of course any potential slowing of the economy may impact on the personal finances of employees, so we would strongly encourage employers to better promote their employee benefits, wellbeing, and financial education policies to encourage usage and to ensure employees obtain maximum value from the benefits available to them.”

Survey undertaken at Jelf Employment Seminar 08/07/16 in London.  211 delegates were surveyed, including large corporates, SMEs, public and third sector employers.

Question: “Will the outcome of the EU referendum result in additional work and/or challenges to your organisations Human Resources department?”
Yes – 72.25 percent
No – 13.29 percent
Don’t know – 14.45 percent
Total number of responses – 173

Question: “Has your company issued any formal updates to employees following the EU referendum result?”
Yes – 42.35 percent
Yes – to some rather than all employees – 7.65 percent
No – 48.24 percent
N/A this will not impact our organisation – 1.76 percent
Total number of responses – 170

Question: “Has your company taken any action to control “discretionary” business spend following the EU referendum result?”
Yes – 16.11 percent
No – 53.89 percent
Don’t know – 25.56 percent
N/A this will not impact our organisation – 4.44 percent
Total number of responses – 180

These results will be included in the 2016/17 Jelf Employee Benefits Survey which will be published autumn 2016.

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