SD Worx, a leading provider of global Payroll and HR services, revealed that out of 1,000 HR, payroll and legal professionals in businesses across 7 European countries, 32% think that they either don’t have or don’t know if they have the skills in the HR and payroll department to adapt to the changes Brexit will bring in the coming months. The survey also found that 63% of respondents believe that Brexit will be difficult, with 18% believing it will be very difficult.

To tackle the skills deficiency, almost two thirds (64%) of organisations will be hiring externally or training internally. The remaining 36% have no plans to find a solution in this area, or don’t know how they will combat the lack of skills.

There are clear reasons why businesses think the process will be so challenging. The report highlighted how some organisations are unaware of the impact that Brexit will have on their employees. For example, 28% of all respondents don’t even know how many employees they have working in the EU, and 26% of European organisations don’t know how many employees they have working in the UK.

Employment will also be impacted: almost seven out of ten (69%) say that their UK/European recruitment plans will be affected by Brexit. Over a third of respondents are unsure how their employee contracts need to change post-Brexit (35%) and one third (32%) will hire more staff in Europe.

A struggle to find the right skills

When it comes to getting ready for Brexit, the survey revealed that the biggest challenges for respondents are understanding changing legislations (44%), moving staff and/or headquarters (35%) and finding in-house skills to manage changes caused by Brexit (29%). Furthermore, 39% of respondents think that Brexit will negatively impact their HR and payroll department.

The survey also found that 60% of businesses currently lack the tax and legal skills required for the business changes caused by Brexit, and will consequently turn to third parties for guidance.

Brenda Morris, Managing Director SD Worx UK and Ireland, commented, “This survey has confirmed the huge uncertainty being felt by businesses across both the UK and Europe. Many are unaware of the impact that Brexit will have on their HR and payroll departments, and business as a whole. From office and people relocation, to outsourcing services, businesses will need to change and adapt to the new laws and legislations that are determined in the coming months.”

Do the Brexit stress test

Is your business ready for the payroll, legislation and tax issues that will be raised by Brexit? Find out by taking part in SD Worx’s Brexit Stress Test here. You can also download the full research report and infographic here.

About the survey

An independent survey was conducted on behalf of SD Worx, with 1,000 HR and payroll professionals in seven European countries, all with payroll decision-making authority, surveyed online. The survey was conducted across Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and the UK between November 2018 and December 2018. Data was not weighted, so results have been reported on an individual country basis.