As we approach the referendum on the UK’s future relationship with the European Union, the debate rages about what a possible “divorce” might entail.
The reality is, of course, that no one can predict what a UK exit from the EU will mean. And if there's one thing that employers dislike most, it’s uncertainty. Many are adopting a cautious “wait and see” approach, similar to last year when Scotland voted on its future in the UK.
This is an entirely understandable reaction. Workforce planning can be a difficult and time consuming task at the best of times. Add into that a period of uncertainty and it also becomes an exercise of risk mitigation.
What is clear, however, is that if the British public votes to leave the EU, that period of uncertainty will continue. Uncertainty as to the future trading relationship with our European neighbours. Uncertainty as to the short and medium term impact on the UK economy. Uncertainty as to the possible restrictions on the free movement of talent.
And what happens in times of uncertainty? Business leaders tend to adopt a cautious approach, battening down the hatches and focusing on the short term priorities.
Equally, employees tend to react with caution during such times. They'll prefer to stay put with an existing employer rather than risk an uncertain future with a new one.
All of which spells problems for the UK employment market.