Hays sees slowdown in UK hiring ahead of EU referendum

Company reports that net fee growth in Ireland in first half an ‘excellent’ 27 per cent

British firms are likely to delay hiring decisions ahead of a referendum on EU membership, the head of recruitment firm Hays said yesterday, adding growth in other parts of the world should offset weakness.

Chief executive Alistair Cox said he was mindful of the effects that Britain's referendum would have on his clients .

The company said it had seen strong growth from continental Europe and the rest of the world, though Britain and Australia slowed towards the end of 2015. The cautious note weighed on Hays shares which fell 8.4 per cent. Group net fees rose to £397 million for the six months to end-December from £384 million a year earlier.

The UK and Ireland, which account for a third of the business, posted net fee growth of 3 per cent, with fee growth in the Irish region a much stronger 27 per cent. – (Reuters)