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Workers pessimistic about Brexit

More than one in five employees (22%) feel less secure in their job because of the leave vote

More than two in five (44%) working adults say they feel pessimistic about the future because of the UK’s vote to leave the EU, according to a report from the CIPD.

The survey asked just over 1,000 working adults a range of questions, including how they feel about the future after Brexit. Pessimism was particularly high among public sector workers (61%), voluntary sector staff (58%) and people aged 25 to 34 (63%).

More than one in five (22%) employees said they felt less secure in their job as a result of the UK’s vote to leave the EU, compared with just 3% who felt more secure.

Ben Willmott, head of public policy at the CIPD, said the results indicate “clear signs of worry”. “This survey shows that Brexit has proven to be a seismic event in people’s working lives, and reveals that there is a significant level of pessimism in the immediate aftermath of the vote,” he said.

“Hopefully as the political and economic situation becomes clearer this will subside, but in the short term there is a clear need for UK employers to do more to engage with their workforces about the likely effects of Brexit on their organisation. The survey exposes clear signs of worry among the UK workforce that, if left unchecked, could lead to associated issues such as stress and anxiety.”

However, Willmott added that there was an encouraging side to the findings. “On a more positive note, the evidence that employees feel they now need to upskill as a result of the UK’s vote to leave the EU demonstrates that people are engaged with learning and development,” he said. “It’s vital that employers do not allow the uncertainty around Brexit to cause them to cut back on training and development for the benefit of their staff as well as the resilience of their organisation as a whole in the months of uncertainty ahead."