Organisations are likely to delay plans to hire permanent staff due to the landmark High Court ruling that Parliament must vote on whether Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty will be triggered, legal experts have warned.
When triggered, Article 50 will initiate the formal negotiations that will determine the details of precisely how the UK will extricate itself from membership of the EU.
Prime Minister Theresa May announced that the Government will appeal the decision, and space has already been cleared in the Supreme Court’s diary for a hearing in December.
Meanwhile, an employment law specialist at law organisation Irwin Mitchell, Omer Simjee, has warned recruiters that the High Court ruling will inevitably result in greater uncertainty for hirers and may lead them to defer investment and hiring decisions even further.
Speaking to Recruiter magazine, Mr Simjee said that uncertainty and delay are never favourable conditions for businesses. Some may now hold off on making investment and hiring decisions until the result of the Parliamentary vote is known, he continued, adding: “The appeal process will take time and if the Supreme Court does uphold the High Court decision, Theresa May’s March timetable will collapse.”
Ultimately, he said, the Government may have to accept that even if Parliament votes in favour of Article 50, the country’s future interactions with the EU will also be subject to the full control of Parliament. The result may render the impact of Brexit less harsh than it might otherwise have been.
Mr Simjee’s assessment was shared by Christopher Tutton, a partner at law company Constantine Law.
Mr Tutton went even further, stating that it may prove to be the case that Article 50 will not be triggered at all. He told Recruiter magazine: “Recruiters are likely to find some hiring decisions postponed as a result. Westminster MPs were largely pro remain, so subject to an appeal against the decision, we will now face a fascinating vote in Parliament where MPs will have to decide to vote in line with their personal views or to reflect the majority view in their constituencies.”
A new survey from Adecco Group brand Badenoch & Clark has found that uncertainty about Brexit has spread to workers, 34 per cent of whom feel less secure in their existing roles as a result of the referendum vote and 42 per cent of whom feel less optimistic about their long-term career opportunities.
Recent survey data from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo), however, suggests that in the professional jobs market, employers are dealing with Brexit uncertainties by increasing their use of Umbrella Company Employees and other contracting professionals while easing back on hiring permanent staff.