65% of hospitality businesses unprepared for Brexit changes

65% of hospitality businesses unprepared for Brexit changes

Hospitality businesses don’t feel confident communicating forthcoming employees’ rights changes during Brexit, with a study by Blacks Solicitors finding 65% feel underprepared.

A further 61% of these businesses are worried about leaving the EU, with another 30% admitting they have limited understanding of how the Brexit process will affect their businesses – and its implications on workers’ rights under new immigration laws.

With 78% of businesses in the industry currently employing staff from the EU, the research also shows the recruitment process could be significantly affected.

Over half (52%) of business leaders say they would be put off employing someone from the EU after immigration laws change, with 35% saying the recruitment process will become lengthier and 43% are also concerned that it will be harder to recruit people with the necessary skills.

“With less than seven months to go until Britain leaves the EU, it is worrying that such large numbers of employers still feel in the dark about their ability to retain and recruit EU nationals,” says Louis MacWilliam, immigration expert at Blacks Solicitors LLP.

“This is in spite of the Home Office publishing concrete details about the new mandatory registration scheme for EU nationals, due to open later this year.”

“Businesses in this industry rely heavily on EU labour and employers can play an important role in securing the rights of their EU employees.

“This includes ensuring employees are aware of any eligibility to apply for British citizenship or EU documentation before we leave the EU, as well as the new mandatory system of registration for EU nationals.

“Employers can keep abreast of recent changes by signing up for regular Home Office email updates about the status of EU nationals.

“Employers can seek advice from legal immigration experts on how best to secure the rights of EU employees, including eligibility for British citizenship.

“They can also review the current migrant workforce to allow for more effective long-term recruitment planning and to help mitigate risk around Brexit.”