Jessica Fino 9 Aug 2018 02:38pm

Talent concerns for accountants in the north of England

The vast majority of accountants in Yorkshire are worried about the impact post-Brexit immigration policies might have on their businesses

While 80% of those surveyed by Blacks Solicitors believe it is their responsibility to communicate any changes to their employees’ rights, 48% admitted they feel underprepared.

Currently 84% of businesses in the accountancy industry employ EU nationals, but 52% said they would be “put off” employing someone from the EU after immigration laws change.

Of those surveyed, 24% thought the forthcoming changes, which include a new mandatory registration scheme for EU nationals, would make the recruitment process more costly and 32% expected to have more difficulty finding workers with the necessary skills. Moreover, 20% believe the recruitment process will become lengthier.

Louis MacWilliam, immigration expert at Blacks Solicitors, said, “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. 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.”

MacWilliam explained that businesses rely heavily on EU labour, which is why they should ensure that employees are made aware of any eligibility to apply for British citizenship or EU documentation before Brexit, as well as the new mandatory system of registration for EU nationals.

According to a study by think tank IPPR, Brexit is expected to have a “major and long-lasting” impact on the economy in the North of England, despite an overwhelming majority of its residents voting to leave the EU.

The report published in November last year said that the split from the EU will have twice the impact on Northern England than on London.

A separate survey published today by Reed Accountancy & Finance found that more than half of finance professionals lack preparation for leaving the EU, with one in three feeling less informed now than they did immediately after the vote took place.