Seven in 10 (70%) employers have encountered concerns from staff about job security or right to work in the UK following the vote to leave the EU, according to research from the CIPD.
In response to the survey, 36% of employers said staff had expressed concerns about job security, while a further 36% of organisations said that non-UK employees had expressed concern about their continuing right to work in the UK.
The survey also highlights evidence of increased workplace tension and division, with almost one in ten (8%) respondents saying incidents had been reported, and a further 25% saying incidents had been hinted at but not reported.
Ben Willmott, head of public policy at the CIPD, said that there is no doubt the vote to leave the UK has had a significant impact on the workplace, with many people worrying about their future employment prospects.
“This is especially true of non-UK nationals, with many clearly concerned about their ability to continue to live and work in the UK after the vote,” he said. “The government needs to clearly set out their plans at the earliest opportunity for non-UK citizens to give those workers the clarity and security that they are seeking."
He advised organisations to be transparent when discussing the issue with staff. “For most employers it will be important to communicate clearly with employees, stressing that there will be no immediate changes and that the organisation will keep the workforce closely informed about any potential changes as the negotiation over the UK’s future relationship with Europe and likely implications become clearer,” he said.
“The reports of division and tension at work are also a concern, coming as they do in the wake of reports of increased incidents of hate crimes. Employers have a duty of care to their employees and must ensure their working environment is fair, welcoming and tolerant for all."
“Line managers in particular have a key role in nipping conflict in the bud and making sure that what some may see as ‘banter’ does not cross the line and become offensive or harassment,” he added.