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Third are worried about Brexit-related HR skills shortage

A third (32%) of HR and payroll professionals think that they don't have the skills in their departments to adapt to Brexit, according to SD Worx

How Can HR Meet the Challenges of Brexit? found that the biggest challenges are understanding changing legislation (44%), moving staff and/or headquarters (35%), and finding in-house skills to manage changes caused by Brexit (29%). Furthermore, 39% of respondents thought that Brexit will negatively affect their HR department.

The research also found a concerning lack of clarity over workforce demographics before Britain's exit from the EU. Almost a third (28%) of respondents in both the UK and other EU countries said that they don’t know how many employees they have working in the EU, and 26% said that they don’t know how many staff they have working in the UK.

The survey also found that 63% of respondents believe that Brexit will be difficult, with 18% believing it will be very difficult.

To tackle fears surrounding potential skills shortages post-Brexit, 64% of organisations will be hiring externally or training internally. The remaining 36% have no plans to find a solution in this area, or don’t know how they will combat a lack of skills in HR and payroll.

Highlighting further concerns over recruitment, 69% said that their UK/European recruitment plans will be affected by Brexit. More than a third of respondents are unsure how their employee contracts need to change post-Brexit (35%) and 32% will hire more staff in Europe.

The survey also found that 60% of businesses currently lack the tax and legal skills required for the business changes caused by Brexit, and will consequently turn to third parties for guidance.

Brenda Morris, managing director of SD Worx UK and Ireland, said that the research reveals the extent of uncertainty for businesses both in the UK and the EU: “This survey has confirmed the huge uncertainty being felt by businesses across both the UK and Europe. Many are unaware of the impact that Brexit will have on their HR and payroll departments, and business as a whole. From office and people relocation to outsourcing services, businesses will need to change and adapt to the new laws and legislations that are determined in the coming months.”

The survey conducted on behalf of SD Worx covered 1,000 HR and payroll professionals in seven European countries, all with payroll decision-making authority. It was conducted across Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and the UK between November 2018 and December 2018.