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What Does Brexit Mean For Your HR Management?


Much has been written over the past few days about the impact of Brexit on all aspects of business management – including HR.

We thought it would be helpful to give business owners and managers some objective and measured advice.

So, what does Brexit mean for your HR management?

The short answer is – nothing.

As you will know from news coverage of the Brexit process, it will take at least two years (and possibly much longer) for the UK to ‘disengage’ formally from the European Union (EU). While we remain members, all existing EU legislation (and, potentially, any new European legislation) will apply in the UK. The fact that we have given notice of our intention to leave the EU does not change existing laws.

As part of the process of leaving the EU, the UK Parliament will need to decide which laws resulting from our membership of the EU should remain in UK law and which should be removed.

The situation with regard to EU law in the years immediately following the completion of Brexit is not yet clear. However, the ‘default position’, we suggest, is that all existing law will remain in force beyond the formal date of separation. There is not likely to be the legislative capacity to review every single piece of EU-derived legislation and to repeal, re-enact or amend it within the two or three years of the withdrawal process. MPs will probably have many more pressing things to consider during that period than the minutiae of employment law.

So, in the medium term, the impact of Brexit on your HR management is likely to be – nothing.

But what about the longer term?

Some changes are likely but what those will be is difficult to predict. For a start, we will by then be beyond the next General Election. The way employment law is shaped at that time will depend upon the views of the government of the day – whether that is a Conservative one under a new leader, a Labour one under existing or new leadership, or some other political arrangement.

So, the ‘big picture’ is one of very little foreseeable change as a result of Brexit. Not any Brexit-induced change in the law, anyway.

What may change, however, is your business circumstances. Brexit may mean affect your business planning and your personnel needs – either requiring more people or requiring less. In either event, you need to be sure you handle things (recruitment or redundancy) properly and in line with the law. If you need any help do give us a call.

And, of course, don’t forget that much employment law (think of auto-enrolment pensions, for example) is not related to the EU at all but is either created by our own politicians or results from ‘case law’ as courts and tribunals interpret existing statutes and regulations. There is no sign of this continual change in your legal obligations slowing up so don’t ‘take your eye off the ball’ (unless you are using our services, of course, in which case we will deal with all this for you).

For a quote call us on 01455 444 222 or email [email protected]

Angela Clay

A qualified employment law solicitor and our managing director, Angela has unparalleled legal expertise and decades of experience and knowledge to draw from. She’s a passionate speaker and writer that loves to keep employers updated with upcoming changes to legislation, and is a regular guest speaker on BBC Leicester Radio.