An audience with the Chancellor George Osborne – employers must “steady the ship” in wake of Brexit

Chancellor George Osborne issued a strong statement in Manchester last week as he outlined what Brexit will mean for British businesses and the economy.

Totaljobs were the only job board invited to join selected business leaders at the event in Manchester to hear directly from the Chancellor in the wake of the EU Referendum and uncertainty about the labour market. Raj Lal, a totaljobs Regional Sales Manager, was at the meeting. Here’s his analysis of the session for employers:

During Friday’s briefing to Manchester businesses, The Chancellor was eager to encourage employers to “steady the ship” while things settle.

‘Financial adjustments’ not ‘financial disorder’ was the order of the day, with Osborne using the event to revise his previous 2020 UK surplus target, saying the country needed to be “realistic” given the uncertainty generated by the decision to leave the EU.

The Chancellor said there was no rush to “press the button” on Article 50 (which would trigger the UK’s exit process from the EU), and also used the event to reaffirm his commitment to being tough on the deficit.

What was the message for employers?

Keep calm

Osborne warned of tough times ahead, saying that “The government must provide fiscal credibility, so we will continue to be tough on the deficit, but we must be realistic about achieving a surplus by the end of this decade. This is precisely the flexibility that our rules provide for.” But this was set against a tone of calm, and a desire from Government for companies to carry on with business as usual under the current climate.

Keep up-to-date

Keeping up with legislative changes was another must for employers as the UK continues to come to terms with the financial and legal implications of Brexit.

Keep hiring

Highlighting the negative impact of Brexit on the economy, Osborne said that businesses held off on hiring over the referendum, but that it’s too early to say if this is a trend that is
likely to continue.

The Chancellor believes that safeguarding the three million jobs linked to the EU is key to aiding financial growth, and that: “The Northern Powerhouse and the role it is playing in rebalancing our economy is more important than ever.”

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