Responding to the Prime Minister’s Brexit speech, Peter Cheese, Chief Executive of the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, said:
“It’s important that businesses have clarity about what the Government is seeking to achieve in the negotiations, so we welcome the details of the Prime Minister’s speech.
“The Prime Minister has made clear that she wants the UK to be able to control its borders. However, it should still be possible to design a flexible, managed immigration system that allows businesses to access the skilled and unskilled labour they need from both EU and non-EU countries. If we are to use Brexit to deliver a global Britain as the Prime Minister wishes, then British business must be able to continue to attract and access global talent. We would urge the Government to engage properly with businesses and employer bodies to ensure that their views and needs are reflected in any deal that the Prime Minister seeks to negotiate.
“It is particularly welcome that the Prime Minister confirmed that the protections afforded to workers through current employment legislation will continue. Many EU-derived regulations provide vital workplace protections and workers up and down the country will be reassured by the news that their rights will not be sacrificed as part of any deal. However, it is disappointing that the Prime Minister is currently unable to confirm that EU nationals already residing in the UK will be allowed to stay. This needs to be an immediate priority in the negotiations to come.
“Given the implications for migration, it’s more important than ever that businesses look ahead and plan their people strategies, and understand the skills and talents they need in order to ensure that that they are prepared for the future, regardless of what the final arrangements look like.”
Source: CIPD Update magazine – 25th January 2017