Brexit Solution for UK Businesses: Make a Smooth Transition with a Global PEO
At the beginning of 2020, the UK officially voted to exit the European Union (EU) in a controversial move coined “Brexit.” While the decision has been made and set in stone, the full repercussions of Brexit have yet to take hold, leaving the future of global commerce, employment and immigration policies adrift in a sea of uncertainty.
December 31, 2020 marks the end of Brexit’s months-long transition period, designed to give both UK and EU businesses and employees time to regroup. But the spotlight on Brexit was severely eclipsed by the Coronavirus and ensuing UK lockdowns, leaving businesses scrambling in the final days of 2020 to salvage their business interests in the EU.
If your business is caught in the crosshairs of Brexit uncertainty, a global PEO solution can help you make a smooth transition to a post-Brexit European landscape.
Business Challenges in a Post-Brexit Europe
Prior to the UK’s Brexit vote, UK businesses and citizens had open access to EU member countries, and to Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, member countries of the European economic area (EEA), for the purposes of both commerce and tourism. Having EU member status made it possible for UK business entities to expand unfettered into other EU markets, with the ability to relocate key expat employees and easily hire local workers. During the 2020 transition period, UK businesses and employees have been allowed to retain the privileges granted to EU members, but that is about to change.
Following are some of the greatest future challenges anticipated by UK international businesses:
- Challenges of recruiting global talent. After the transition period, the UK will face new obstacles in recruiting international talent. It will be more difficult for EU and EEA citizens to immigrate to the UK, and more challenging for UK enterprises to hire and pay a global workforce.
- Potential changes in tariffs and export fees. Until new trade agreements are negotiated between the UK and EU, companies remain in the dark about how future fees and tariffs will impact their ability to remain competitive in EU and EEA markets.
- Compulsory changes to payroll processes. As EU members, UK companies have been able to leverage the single euro payments area (SEPA), a system created by the EU that allows for standardized financial transactions among EU and EEA members. As of January 2021, SEPA architecture will no longer apply to UK international payroll processes, and UK businesses may be unable to pay global employees from a UK bank account.
- Maintaining communication with clients. The rift between the UK and the EU may have unforetold repercussions for business relationships across European borders. Many UK businesses are concerned that the free labor movement limitations and travel restrictions will make it difficult to service European clients.
- Compliance with foreign laws and regulations. Being no longer EU members, UK international companies will have to be ready to navigate newly imposed international employment laws and regulations for conducting business in the EU, hiring and paying a global workforce – locals as well as expats.
- Management of employee immigration. With new restrictions in place beginning January 2021, UK businesses with EU employees face the threat of losing their global workforce while scrambling to meet immigration criteria, both at home and abroad.
Things to Consider for UK Global Employers
If your UK-based business employs foreign workers in and from the EU, legal experts Crowell and Moring LLP outline certain changes to immigration regulations that you should begin to prepare for now.
- Any employees or self-employed individuals who have been continuous legal residents in the UK for 5+ years are eligible to apply for permanent residence.
- Employees and their families who have resided in the UK for less than five years who wish to remain in the UK after June, 2021 can apply to continue living in the UK through the EU Settlement Scheme.
- Companies that are planning to hire non-UK citizens on their own business entities in 2021 should apply for a sponsorship license.
- If your business already has a sponsorship license, you should verify that it is up to date and valid, and that you are still allowed to engage non-UK citizens in 2021.
- If your company intends to employ non-EU workers within an EU member state, the EU Single Permit Directive provides for a single application procedure that covers both work and residency permits, which you will need to obtain.
- To hire a high-profile non-European employee in Europe or Belgium, other single permit options may apply.
Alternatively, you may want to look at the solutions that can help you skip hiring directly and having to stay in the loop of these and other post-Brexit changes in 2021.
A Global PEO solution is an alternative option to direct hiring. It takes the hassle of dealing with all the above nuances off your shoulders as well as deprives your business of having to maintain costly own legal entities.
As international businesses move forward in 2021, many more unforeseen changes and regulations may emerge. And this will impact how companies like yours recruit, hire and compensate global workers. Partnering with a global PEO during this uncertain transition period offers a plausible solution for businesses who want to experience minimal disruptions to established business processes.
How a Global PEO Solution can Help UK Businesses Transition Post-Brexit
The uncertainties brought about by Brexit and the Coronavirus have disrupted trade across the globe and left UK businesses in limbo. But every problem has infinite solutions, and Acumen Global PEO offers a convenient, compliant and time-tested solution for companies undergoing global expansion in uncertain times.
When you partner with Acumen Global PEO, you will be able to:
- Continue your global projects without disruption and loss of talent.
- Meet compliance requirements for hiring and payroll in EU and EEA countries.
- Pursue your business goals for global expansion with minimal loss of momentum.
- Deftly relocate or reconfigure your business interests in EU and EEA countries without fear of fines or penalties.
With Acumen Global PEO solution, you can move ahead with confidence, knowing your business interests in the EU and EEA will be protected from post-Brexit backlash, no matter what changes it brings.
Acumen International, Your Global PEO Provider
Time is running out for UK businesses to resolve their international employment challenges before Brexit restrictions set in. Whether you need global employment solutions for hiring and paying your global workforce or an expat hiring solution, Acumen International Global PEO can help.
As an experienced and well-established leader in the global employment industry, Acumen has the tools and connections to ease your transition to post-Brexit business expansion. By leveraging Acumen and our global infrastructure covering 190 countries, you can forge ahead with your business goals, despite the uncertainties brought on by Brexit. Get Acumen’s Express Quote now, and be ready to face whatever changes the future presents in 2021 and beyond.