Kicking the Brexit bluesTen reasons why HR can feel, um, good about Brexit
Delete as appropriate to your Brexit beliefs: it’s been a strange week since last Thursday’s catastrophe/success. We’ve all been depressed/high-spirited since the announcement, and have been forced into repetitive, mind-numbing analysis of how we’ll cope with the economic disaster/wonderful new opportunities. And to cap it all, yesterday revealed once and for all that Boris is a twit/twit.
Anyhow – whether you’re a Remainer or a Beleaver, there are at least ten things about Brexit that’ll make life better for HR. And guess what? Here they come.
1. In the next few weeks there’ll be lots of opportunities to cuddle staff. The whole world from Captain Cheeze downward is telling us we should be ‘reassuring our people’. Totaljobs’ John Salt tells us that ‘With the UK’s economic health in doubt… businesses should be looking to reassure all of their employees, whether Europeans or UK nationals.’ So go on then. Have a trip around the office and give everyone a nice big hug.
2. Bored of working lunches featuring platters from Pret A Manger? Post-Brexit, Pret will be banned for being too French. All lunches will have to be provided by Marks & Spencer, Tesco or Greggs. Other retailers will have to change names: Anthropologie will have to be spelled with a y, French Connection will become Frome Connection and Zara will be known as Mrs Mike Tindall.
3. As spot rewards, we’ll be able to hand out bottles of cheap English fizzy plonk and call them champagne. Pesky EU regulations on PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) simply won’t apply any more.
4. No more tedious business trips to Paris and Rome to worry about. After Brexit, you’ll never have to go further afield than Croydon and the M4 corridor.
5. In fact, no one will be able to go on holiday overseas because of the disadvantageous exchange rates. So our offices won’t be crammed with the sweets people bring back from vacations. Think of the weight we’ll all lose.
6. Speaking of EU regulations, there’s likely to be some relaxing of working time directives. Which opens the door for employers to do a lot of marvellous things in terms of lengthening hours and thus improving productivity. Which is what it’s all about, right?
7. Ever have to interview a candidate from overseas who’s been to a university with a name you couldn’t pronounce? (‘Sonja – tell me about your time at the, um, University of Jyväskylä.’) No such embarrassments in the future.
8. Because there’ll be a recruitment freeze for a while, you can spend less time in the company of recruitment consultants.
9. You will never have to administrate a pesky relocation package ever again, unless it’s something dead straightforward like someone moving from Morecambe to Scunthorpe.
10. The points system introduced to establish which immigrants can actually come in will be quite fun, particularly if you administrate it in the style of Eurovision. ‘Sorry, Johann, that’s a big nul points from the London jury. Looks like it’s Goodnight Vienna for you, pal.’