UK workforce headed for crisis post-Brexit as businesses plan to cut full-timers and freelancers

UK workforce headed for crisis post-Brexit as businesses plan to cut full-timers and freelancers.jpeg

As huge numbers of EU workers leave, UK businesses are bracing themselves for perceived increase in cost of talent replace full timers for cheaper part timers 

New figures released today by Worksome, the business to consultant matchmaking platform, reveals the true impact of Brexit on the UK’s workforce. Nearly two thirds (62%) of businesses plan to hire part-time staff over full-time once we leave the EU in a clear attempt to save money.

If Brexit limits free movement for workers, businesses will find it increasingly difficult to hire critical talent. Choosing a part-time employee route is a viable option for small or young businesses. But for larger businesses it will not protect margins in the long run.

What’s more the survey also reveals some interesting insight in to business perceptions of freelancer usage:

The statistics further found that:

-   nearly two thirds (62%) of senior level business directors know that freelancers will benefit their business

-   yet 80% think they are too expensive to hire

-   nearly half of business owners rate freelancers as more productive than permanent employees

-   yet only 20% of businesses will look to hire freelancers post Brexit 

The research conducted suggests that, not only will Brexit affect workforce requirements, but it will potentially complicate labour availability as well. Most worryingly, it shows there is a genuine lack of information and understanding about the true cost of freelancers in the UK and how they can help, not hinder the bottom line. 

CEO and co-founder, Worksome, Morten Petersen said “Company culture will be instrumental in how well a business can weather the Brexit storm.  To build and maintain a core loyal workforce amidst uncertain times, and sustain the long health of a business, the logical approach for employers is to hire a blend of full-time employees and freelancers”.

Exposing the full picture emerging from UK businesses, further statistics show 87% of UK businesses shun flexible working practice and actively choose NOT to encourage it. Additionally, nearly half of businesses admit that freelancers are MORE productive than permanent full-time employees. 

CEO and co-founder, Worksome, Morten Petersen said: “This research has really highlighted some of the challenges facing UK businesses who are clearly feeling apprehensive amidst this change and uncertainty of post Brexit. Businesses need to understand and invest in the freelance economy as this will support the ability to expand and contract as market conditions will shift. Initial upfront costs have historically deterred many businesses from even considering the freelance talent pool. But as technology evolves and the recruitment challenge is streamlined, supply and demand will ease the ability to expand and contract teams, delivering more cost effective and efficient solutions that can help cushion the Brexit blow”.

Amidst the economic uncertainty of Brexit, freelancers are positioned to play a critical role in the UK economy. Freelancers make it possible for businesses to hire the most skilled and suitable talent, with far less financial risk attached. As the UK’s freelance economy continues to boom and the country now playing home to an estimated 5 million self-employed workers, using freelancers is looking like a very attractive option for business owners looking to fill the skills gap left by missing EU workers.

Nadine SandcroftComment