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27 July 2016

How Brexit will affect HR in the Print industry

How Brexit will affect HR in the Print industry

With Brexit being the hot topic of conversation and undoubtedly one of the most widely debated topics in the upcoming months, here are some areas for you to begin to consider some of the HR implications of Brexit can have within your business.

How will HR legislation be affected?

The practicalities of changing laws and regulations that are now entrenched and form contractual entitlements (e.g. holiday, working hours, maternity) for many employees, could be difficult and painful and in many cases to change as it would mean terminating contracts and re-engaging employees on revised terms. This would inevitably involve a degree of legal risk, as with any termination or change of contracts.

If the newly formed UK government were to consider downgrading certain employee ‘benefits’ or ‘entitlements’ that have resulted from EU legislation there might be a resistance from employees around the UK and a consequent resurgence of union membership, which some might wish to avoid.

Coming out of the EU might, therefore, maybe a way to reduce exposure to future EU legislation, rather than deregulate what we already have.

Should I reassure my workforce?

Brexit will clearly bring huge changes to the entire landscape of business in the UK, and indeed Europe. As such, millions of employees will now be worrying about their individual futures. An unsettled workforce can hit productivity extremely hard. Rectifying this issue should be one of the first items on your agenda.

Employees need to have trust and reassurances. Knowing that their position isn’t in jeopardy will make a huge difference to their happiness. With the uncertain times ahead, it’s difficult to guarantee long-term security. However, businesses should be keen to communicate that business will continue as normal for the time being.

The happiness and trust of the staff is more vital than ever. Without it, the fallout of Brexit could have a massively damaging impact on UK businesses. If nothing else, addressing this situation will allow you to turn your attentions to the other inevitable changes.


The takeaway from this advice is to ‘stay calm and business as usual’. I do not believe we will see any immediate change on the employment legislation front and think it unlikely that the government will at any point go about eroding current legislation/employee rights.  

I have spoken to a couple of members who are considering cost-saving measures, saying that they have been quiet over last couple of months and anticipate this will continue certainly for the next few over the summer, putting this down to Brexit. It may be that because of the recent uncertainty - which does appear to have stabilised over last couple of weeks - spend has not been so great and therefore the demand for print has fallen. 

However, it may be nothing to do with Brexit at all and I think it would be a shame if members blame Brexit, or use it as an excuse, to achieve costs savings. This will send a very negative message to the workers about the status of the company, the future security of their jobs and the overall stability of the country, all of which could result in making matters worse.

Whilst this is very much a specialist topic, the BPIF is able to support you with:

• Staff engagement 

• Contract and employee documentation reviews 

• Training for managers on managing change. 

• Refresher training for managers on essential employment law, data protection, working time legislation and equality and diversity.

• Discipline and Grievance workshop

• Recruitment and Selection workshop




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Anna Nudds
Anna Nudds