Irish companies unprepared for Brexit, survey shows

Just one in 10 businesses has plan to deal with economic fallout of UK departure

A pedestrian shelters from the rain beneath a Union Jack umbrella at the Houses of Parliament in London, following the pro-Brexit result of the UK’s  referendum in June, 2016. Photograph: Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images

A pedestrian shelters from the rain beneath a Union Jack umbrella at the Houses of Parliament in London, following the pro-Brexit result of the UK’s referendum in June, 2016. Photograph: Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images

 

Irish companies are not adequately prepared for the economic fallout the UK’s departure from the European Union may bring, with just one in 10 companies having a Brexit readiness team in place, according to a new survey.

The data, from recruitment website IrishJobs.ie, shows that 41 per cent of businesses surveyed admitted they have not conducted a Brexit risk assessment at all, while 64 per cent confessed they don’t have a Brexit-dedicated team.

Jane Lorigan, chief executive of IrishJobs.ie, says that the lack of clarity on what Brexit will bring, “may lie behind the lack of preparation”.

“It’s a concern that many Irish businesses aren’t making any plans for this significant event. I believe that a variety of new roles will be needed in many Irish offices including positions for sales and marketing professionals fluent in a second language, increased roles in logistics and transport to manage the additional documentation required for transporting goods through the UK and maybe roles for people to manage work permits for UK workers,” she says, adding that it would be sensible for companies to start looking at their staffing and think about the day-to-day practicalities of running their business in the post-Brexit world.

For the companies making plans for Brexit, protecting revenue and exploring new markets is a major consideration, with one in four HR managers saying that recruiting sales and marketing staff who speak a second language will be a priority.

A further 16 per cent say they may need additional legal staff to focus on new compliance and trade regulations, 15 per cent believe they may need additional finance and IT staff, while 12 per cent say they could need more HR professionals to manage issues such as work permits.