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As things currently stand, the UK is due to leave the European Union on 31st October 2019. With the date fast approaching, many businesses will have contingency plans in place regarding the logistics of buying, selling and distributing products. But have you thought about the potential effect on your people?

Here are some of the questions to ask yourself to prepare your business for the changes ahead.

Do you employ people from the EU?

Most European citizens working in the UK can apply for the EU Settlement Scheme. If your employees haven’t yet applied, you can support them by helping with the application process and forms that will need filling in.

Encourage them to apply as early as possible. The deadline for applying will be 30 June 2021, or 31 December 2020 if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. You may also want to look at some contingency planning to enable them to work for you remotely, if needed.

How are they feeling?

Aside from their working status, do you know how your EU employees are feeling right now? Do you know what their plans are post-Brexit?

Even if you don’t employ any EU citizens, you may have staff with partners or family who are affected. Have you had a conversation about what everyone’s plans are? Do your managers know how to deal with an employee with high levels of stress and anxiety?

Do you have team members that travel frequently?

Check if your people need a visa or work permit and meet any requirements for their profession to work in the country they regularly travel to. Gov.uk has specific guidance for each country that’s affected.

How robust is your team to change?

How agile is your team? Can roles be covered if they are vacated suddenly? Could you rejig your existing workforce or use technological solutions if there is a labour shortage? Think about where you normally get your new recruits from. Might this change? Will there be enough of a pool to get you through the Christmas peak?

Similarly, have you thought about how you might restructure if there is a downturn in market conditions?

We can help

Lastly, with all the current uncertainty, one thing is certain – and that’s the fact that small businesses have enough to concern them without being caught out by recruitment issues. After all, you can work your way through the logistical difficulties, but only if you have your people behind you all the way.

At People Puzzles, we recognise that all businesses are different and will be affected in different ways. What might be sensible contingency planning for one business may not be necessary for another business.

Give us a call on 0808 164 5826 and let us help you to decide what you need to plan for and what you don’t need to worry about.



Lynn has been a fantastic support to us and an ongoing fountain of knowledge. If you have a business and/or staff you need to take care of, you need a Lynn on your team!

Kerry Berry, Director, S&K Berry Associates LLP

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