Around 27% of owner-managed businesses (OMBs) believe that Brexit would negatively impact their ability to hire.
Specifically, one in seven (14%) OMBs think the cost of recruiting the right workers would increase, while one in eight (13%) say Brexit would increase the cost of hiring low skilled workers, according to the OMB Barometer from Bank of Cyprus UK.
However, it must be stated that the results show a real mixed bag when it comes to Brexit. Four in ten OMBs (42%) said that a possible Brexit outcome would have little or no impact on business decisions, while six in ten (58%) said the result of the EU referendum would make no difference to their recruitment policies. In fact, one in five (19%) OMBs see Brexit as a potential to reduce red tape. One in ten (10%) OMBs believe this reduction in red tape would increase their ability to hire a greater number of staff, while a similar number (9%) say it would enable them to hire more skilled staff.
When it comes down to a Remain or Leave opinion, OMBs are evenly split with 37% saying they oppose or strongly oppose a UK exit from the European Union and 37% supporting or strongly supporting a UK exit from the European Union.
Head of Banking at Bank of Cyprus UK Lakis Kasapis said: “We work with thousands of Owner Managed Businesses (OMBs); many already face challenges hiring the right workers to meet their business needs and Brexit is adding to this. It is worrying that over a quarter of OMBs think recruitment costs will be negatively impacted in the event of a Vote Leave outcome in the EU referendum.”
Kaspapis said that it is also worrying that OMB’s uncertainty in the run up to the referendum is causing them to delay decisions. Businesses need to plan for both eventualities.