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Hot topic: Hard Brexit

With a hard Brexit looking increasingly likely, what areas do people leaders need to be aware of?

What could be the impact on the workforce and how should businesses prepare?

Danny Mortimer, chief executive at NHS Employers, says:

"Leaders need to seek to influence the outcome of the post-Brexit debate, to ensure that the settlement is a realistic one. Collaboration with other organisations is vital in that respect.

"It is also important to develop approaches that improve the supply of domestic workers, which includes reaching out to new communities. In the NHS we are especially focused on improving the recruitment of people with learning disabilities, for example.

"Finally, understanding your organisational weaknesses in preparation for a much tougher post-2019 environment is essential. We are addressing the poorer experience of BME staff and developing more positive workplace cultures.

"For the NHS there are a range of implications from a complete withdrawal from the single market. Workforce leaders have been particularly focused on the supply of people (6% of the 1.4 million NHS workers are EU citizens) but there are other factors that will affect our sector."

Gerwyn Davies, labour market adviser at the CIPD, says:

"Labour shortages are undoubtedly the biggest risk to employers as a result of Brexit. As the most recent official employment statistics show, the number of EU nationals in employment in the UK since Brexit has already plateaued. This will be compounded when free movement of labour ends.

"On the positive side, this could present opportunities for groups of the job market whose potential has not been maximised, such as female returners and young people. Employers therefore need to start thinking about the profile of their workforce and ways of making jobs more attractive through better flexible working opportunities, better progression routes, and improvements to pay and employment conditions (where this is affordable)."

Check back tomorrow for part two of this Hot Topic