The economic reverberations following the outcome of the
referendum have already started to affect some businesses. Even
if you don’t know what the future holds for your organisation,
how do you reassure your staff and send out the message that,
for the time being, it is business as usual? Use our staff Q&A to
help alleviate immediate concerns.
Precedent: Employee Communication
What Brexit means for
The UK has voted to
exit from the European
Union. Whilst the
withdrawal is likely to be
a hugely complicated
and lengthy process, we
would like to provide
initial information on
what the impact of
Brexit could mean for
you as an employee.
Q1: How long will it take for the UK to
exit the EU?
The exit rules provide that countries have a
minimum of two years’ to negotiate their
withdrawal from the EU and time starts to
run from the date the Government serves
formal notice to exit the EU. Notice to leave
the EU has not been issued and the timing
of it is strictly a political decision for the UK
Q2: Will my terms and conditions of
employment change as a result of Brexit?
We do not anticipate making any changes
to your terms and conditions of employment
as a result of Brexit, but cannot guarantee
that your terms and conditions will remain
completely unchanged in the future. This
is because the terms of the UK’s exit from
the EU remain uncertain and a number of
laws which have until now governed UK
employment law have been defined or
shaped by our membership of the EU.
Q3: How will Brexit affect UK employment
law and as a result our people policies?
The decision to exit the EU will be unlikely
to necessitate any immediate and major
employment law policy changes in the UK
due to the fact that:
- The UK will continue to be bound by
relevant EU laws until another agreement
is reached or until the UK unilaterally
withdraws from the EU (which cannot be
earlier than two years from the date the
exit notice is served). This means that we
will continue to follow all existing UK laws
that derive from the EU during this two year
- Depending on the UK’s relationship with
the EU following Brexit, the Government
may be required to retain EU employment
law as part of any new deal.
- Many UK laws, which originate from
the EU, have become workplace norms,
therefore it would not be in the political
interest of any Government to initiate
wholesale change or removal. These
include some discrimination laws and
working time practices including the right
to paid holidays.
- Some current UK employment laws
exceed minimum EU requirements (for
example, family leave, including maternity
and paternity rights), or fall outside EU
competence (such as unfair dismissal
rights). In these cases there is unlikely to
be any change as a result of Brexit.
- As the political landscape becomes clearer
we will continue to review our policies in
line with any Government decisions and
any changes to legislation and we will of
course discuss any proposed changes and
the impact of these with our employees.
Q4: I am an EU citizen but do not have a
UK passport. Will I be able to continue to
work for in the UK?
The borders will not automatically be
closed to non UK residents and we expect
transitional arrangements to be negotiated
as part of a post Brexit regime. Depending on
the outcome of those negotiations, you may
need a visa to continue to work in the UK and
satisfy any immigration controls imposed
by the UK Government. If you have any
concerns in this regard, please contact the HR
Q5: Should I apply for permanent
residence to avoid any immigration
restrictions that might be imposed by the
Currently, you need to demonstrate you have
lived in the UK for at least five years to apply
for indefinite leave to remain in the UK and
pay the fee. Further guidance is available on
the Government’s website.
Q6: Will the business be making
any redundancies or restructuring as
result of Brexit?
We have no current plans to make any
redundancies or to restructure as result of the
vote to exit.
We are considering our position and will
comply with all relevant EU and UK laws if we
do consider that redundancies are necessary.
Obviously, we can’t predict the future and do
not yet know what trading agreement the UK
Government will reach with the EU and how
this may affect our own business.
Please contact HR if you have any additional
questions or concerns not considered in this
Download Summer 2016 issue (pdf)