Warnings from the accountancy firm KPMG last month that some perilous uncertainties for CEOs and hirers lie ahead may be well-founded, as news breaks that the Conservatives are planning to offer the electorate an early vote on the UK’s membership of the EU.

KPMG partner Tim Payne identified economic and political instabilities in Europe, fluctuating oil prices and a UK general election as factors that may dissuade CEOs from proceeding with their plans to appoint more permanent staff this year. The Prime Minister, David Cameron, now appears to have intensified the uncertainties in his efforts to stave off a stampede of Tory voters to UKIP at the general election.

Speaking on BBC 1’s Andrew Marr Show, Mr Cameron confirmed that he wishes to wrap up his promised renegotiation of Britain’s membership terms before the target date of the close of 2017 in order to put the package to the country. He explained: “The referendum must take place before the end of 2017. If we could do that earlier, I would be delighted. The sooner I can deliver on that the better.”

Mr Cameron’s remarks are already generating speculation that in the event of a Tory majority at the election, he may try to hold the referendum as early as 2016.

While political uncertainties may persuade UK CEOs to rein in their intentions to expand their permanent headcounts, the recent JobsOutlook survey from the REC reveals that 93% of employers have little or no capacity to take on more work. This suggests that they may opt to hire skilled Umbrella Company employees to manage fluctuating business demands and to complete business-critical projects.

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