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Employment groups react following Scotland's 'no' vote


Business groups and employers are assessing the impact of the Scottish independence campaign, despite Scotland voting to remain in the UK yesterday.

Prior to Scotland going to the polls, both sides raised the potential impact of independence on Scottish employment, turning it into one of the pivotal issues of the campaign.

Following the announcement of the result early this morning, Standard Life, the first Scottish company to suggest it might have relocated in the event of a 'yes' vote, released a statement saying it "fully respects the decision of the Scottish people".

"We recognise that further constitutional change is very likely, following the clear result of the referendum," the statement read. "It is now important that we all move forward with respect and work together constructively in the best interests of Scotland and the United Kingdom."

Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) chief executive Kevin Green promised to keep "all members informed" of changes that arise from devolved powers that have been promised to Scotland. 

"In all discussions about further devolution, policy-makers must keep in mind that workers move across borders and businesses need to take talent with them, wherever they are operating," he said. "The UK jobs market gathers its strength from the close collaboration between the different regions and nations of the UK and this should remain at the forefront in all deliberations.”

Forum of Private Business chief executive Phil Orford claimed many small business owners will be "relieved" at the result and a return to economic certainty.

But "others will be frustrated having seen business opportunities in an independent Scotland," he added. “For all business owners, regardless of the way they voted, it is now vital that they focus on growing over the coming years with a relative platform of stability."

Hargreaves Lansdown head of pensions research Tom McPhail predicted "bold and eye-catching announcements" on tax and social justice following the close-cut vote.

"In the longer term we expect devolution of powers from Westminster to Scotland (and potentially other regions too)," he said.

"This could lead to regional tax powers. Scotland already has limited powers to vary income tax, which could in turn impact on pensions and other savings plans. However we wouldn’t expect to see any change this side of the general election."