Create your own certainties.
People are the heart of your business, so how do you hold onto them if they are EU citizens? Be practical, personal and prepared, says Punam Birly, Brexit People & Immigration Lead.
"I’d estimate that some 70% of businesses are still not engaging with the issue properly… Put yourself in their shoes. How would you feel facing such uncertainty?"
One UK business is opening up its Brexit planning for everyone to see.
A manufacturer of precision components, FutureGauge's operations are inextricably linked with the EU - through supply chains, employees and customers. In this first instalment, we see how FutureGauge is working through key decisions in the countdown to Brexit.
FutureGauge has supply chains zig-zagging across the EU and needs to plan for the possibility that these routes are disrupted by customs barriers going up.
The board are assessing whether to open a facility in Hamburg to assemble one of their top European selling products and to act as a distribution centre for northern European customers. They are evaluating the timeframe, cost, availability of skilled labour, legal frameworks and its tax impact.
As an active member of the region's engineering trade association, FutureGauge CEO Maria Clark has joined a regional working group on Brexit. The group is feeding into a UK Government consultation on the UK's future customs arrangements, established in August.
Maria also needs to protect FutureGauge's position in Europe, so she has enlisted a public affairs consultancy in Brussels to help represent their views on future EU legislation. Maria is also considering the management footprint that FutureGauge will need in Europe.
FutureGauge employs 1,700 EU nationals in the UK. Their Head of People, Tony Reeve, says it's impossible to know how many might join the 100 who have already left since the Referendum. Yet he's not that worried. Despite some grumblings that their wages are now worth less back home, hardly anyone has raised concerns with HR. However, Federico Marletta, the company's Head of Engineering, commutes from Milan on a Monday and returns on Friday and wants advice on his legal and tax status. The company will happily help a senior, valued member of the company.
The FutureGauge story continues. If you would like to discuss any of the issues raised please get in touch.
"Give yourself as many options as you can but, where possible, hold off making actual changes until 2018".
"Robotics, artificial intelligence and the gig economy could well play a major role in making up for a shortfall in the UK’s skilled EU workforce."
Every month we're asking our Twitter followers whether their organisations are on track in preparing for the potential opportunities and challenges Brexit may bring.
We will be plotting your responses with each poll to build up a picture of UK Plc's readiness as Brexit day approaches on 29 March, 2019.
Will organisations in the UK need a transition/implementation period after Brexit to adjust their systems, hiring and planning? This sentiment check helps answer that question.
The latest Brexit insights from across the KPMG network
We asked thousands of EU nationals in the UK and Europe how Brexit would change their futures? See what they told us, and what that means for UK employers.
Vice Chair and Head of Brexit
Partner and Brexit People & Immigration Lead
Partner and Head of People & Change
Partner and Brexit Tax & Location Lead
Partner and Brexit Supply Chain & Procurement Lead
Director and Brexit Customs & Indirect Tax Lead
Director, Public Policy
You may not be familiar with the name but if you have travelled by train, plane, road vehicle or ship, a FutureGauge product will probably have played some part: we manufacture and distribute precision-engineered components for the transportation sector.
Headquartered in the Midlands and focusing most of our manufacturing there, 65% of our sales come from continental Europe. Two-thirds of our suppliers are UK-based with the remainder split between Europe and SE Asia. We employ 8,000 people in 18 countries – almost 7,000 of them in the UK – and last year recorded sales of £500 milllion.
We believe in investing in the communities in which we are located, including building next-generation skills through apprenticeships. Twenty five percent of our workforce is made up of EU nationals, employed in both skilled and unskilled positions.
We believe that Brexit represents both a significant challenge, but also an opportunity for us.
How do we navigate Brexit and build a new future?