June 23rd is the date set for the referendum on whether Britain stays in the EU or leaves. Over the coming weeks and months there will be a huge amount of discussion on the impact of either result on the British Economy and a large part of that will also include the impact of employment in Britain.
Currently around five million of the UK’s employed are non UK workers, 40% of those are EU nationals.
There is no hard and fast rule as to what will happen, after all, there is no precedent set. There is and will continue to be a lot of speculation on this topic.
If the decision is made for Britain to exit the EU, there will be a 2 year period of negotiation whilst our exit is planned and implemented. Undoubtedly if this happens it would cause a degree of instability in the economy which will in turn likely have an impact on employment in Britain.
We may see a reduction in workers from the EU for the next few months in the build up to the referendum and depending on what happens we may see no further change or we may experience instability.
It’s likely that external investment into the UK slows during the next few months, it’s only natural that investors would wait until a decision is made. Once the decision is taken, and whichever decision it is, we will likely see investment into the UK resume, the job market will potentially follow this trend as confidence dips and then grows and stabilises.
We currently have the lowest unemployment rates since 1976 (Office of National Statistics), the recruitment market has been candidate driven for some time; this is unlikely to change dramatically so employers who are struggling to recruit should review their processes to ensure they have the best opportunity to attract the best candidates.
We are in a period of uncertainty with regard to our position within the EU and not until the vote is taken, will we have a clearer understanding of this impact on employment in Britain.