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Brexit and its impact on HR

As the Prime Minister launches article 50, UK businesses and HR functions in particular, are starting to think about what this means for people management and workforce planning.

Change won’t be immediate of course, but now is the ideal time for employers to make sure they have effective workforce plans to be able to cope with the change – whatever it might look like – when it happens. It’s quite timely that the Maritime HR Association annual conference will include discussions around workforce planning, and we’re delighted to have a representative from the CIPD joining us this year to talk to us about this very topic.

HR professionals have a crucial role to play in any business change programme – and this won’t be any exception. There are some strategic and practical things we can all be thinking about:

• How does the uncertainty around the future supply of EU migrants affect you? Are there parts of your business where this is more of an issue than others – and what plans can you put in place to mitigate this risk?
• Is retention already an issue, and are you able to backfill the vacancies arising from EU nationals taking their destiny into their own hands? Some employers are already focusing on retaining the skills of their older workers, investing more on skills development programmes and apprentices. HR Consulting at Spinnaker Global offer a Maritime Leadership Development Programme to develop the leaders of the future who can support the change. They also offer salary benchmarking, to help maritime employers attract and retain talent when skills are in short supply.
• Could improved technology be the answer? Implementing new systems or equipment could save time and therefore help manage any expected reduction in human resources.
• Will your costs increase when we leave the EU, and will you be able to provide a competitive product / service? Estimating how much will help identify the scale of efficiencies needed and may inspire a change to your business model.
• Is relocating your operations outside of the UK an option? Global industries like shipping are likely to have other hubs which could be developed and utilised instead.
• How, when and what do you want to communicate with your staff? An internal communications plan is vital during any period of change and uncertainty.

The CIPD ‘Brexit hub’ will help you answer some of these questions – it contains a range of resources to support your planning. And of course if any Maritime HR Association members need any help or advice, feel free to get in touch.

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