Brexit Employment Survey 2017

It has been a year since the Brexit referendum, yet a great deal remains unknown. Baker McKenzie asked what impact this uncertainty is having on skilled workers from EU27 countries who are living and working in the UK.

We surveyed 250 people, educated at degree level or higher, who work for companies that are either FTSE250 or have a revenue of over GBP 50 million per annum. We asked how the referendum result is affecting their lives and what impact that may have on the business community. A summary of our findings may be found below, or you can view the infographic here.

56% of respondents said that they were likely or highly likely to leave the UK before the outcome of the Brexit negotiations is known.

Rates of likely attrition were highest in the healthcare, technology, media and telecoms, and financial services sectors, thus, companies reliant on EU workers should be taking steps now to help address employee concerns as well as incentivize talented employees with strategic benefit offerings, including equity awards, within the business in order to minimize the impact of Brexit. Employers should also consider their talent pipeline and put measures in place to secure the next generation of skilled workers, including reviewing training plans, apprenticeships and other development schemes.

55% of respondents have been offered no support from their employer.

Support is vital. In our survey, 94% of respondents who were contacted by their employers on the subject of Brexit found the advice helpful, citing a wide range of assistance from softer assurances of job security and emotional support, to more substantive support in the form of legal advice and assistance with immigration matters. However, more than half the respondents surveyed have received no information or support from their employer. Employers should consider group counseling or one-on-one support for employees to ensure they are aware of all aspects of any change in their immigration status. In the case of keeping talented EU employees who intend to leave the UK within the business, this support should also include equity compensation cross-border tax guidance.

70% of respondents feel more vulnerable to discrimination since the Brexit referendum.

Perceptions of discrimination were high across the board and are likely fuelling the desire to leave the UK. While 75% of respondents felt their job was secure, they are nonetheless likely to depart the UK. As discriminatory hiring practices were the greatest fear in the workplace, for respondents to our survey, employers should be refreshing anti-discrimination policies as they face the consequences of Brexit.