Post Brexit opportunity for those in the temporary or contract employment sector

As the initial impacts of a vote to leave the EU become clearer a mood of caution has been widely reported amongst the many multi-nationals based in the UK. The uncertainty surrounding how Britain will fare and how maintaining access to the EU single market will function provides uncertainty and undermined the stability upon which businesses rely for investment and long-term staff planning. Many are reviewing options and developing contingency strategies that offer flexibility in response to the changing landscape.

The UK has always had plenty to offer employers in terms of language, skills, culture and time zone. Market forces continue to operate and strong, innovative UK based businesses will continue to take advantage of growth opportunities whilst the proposed reduction in corporation tax will make the UK an even more attractive place to do business.

In terms of the legal system many UK employment laws come from EU directives and are now accepted as part of our employment framework. The leave vote has not impacted upon this, and it is difficult to see this changing in the near term. The length of the withdrawal process, freedom of movement requirements to access the EU single market, the number of EU workers in the UK and vice-versa make it unlikely that UK employment law will change dramatically and that the existing EU compliant employment laws will remain.

The staffing requirements and habits are most likely to come under review as a result of instability and will impact upon the recruitment market in the short to medium term. Initial indications suggest companies will seek to defer permanent hiring decisions and look to take on more temporary and contract workers where this is appropriate. A change in outlook became apparent with a slowing of the permanent job market in the run up to the referendum and this is expected to remain following the vote to leave the EU.

Whilst it is likely that job growth will continue overall recruitment specialists focussed on the permanent sector are experiencing a slowdown and will be faced with lower growth and volumes as hiring decisions are deferred. Those focussed on the temporary and contract sector we expect to see an improvement in growth as organisations look to meet demands whilst retaining flexibility to adapt swiftly should their market be impacted.


Author: Brian Burke, Director – Quantuma