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Brexit: human resourcing implications

Maranda Ridgway (Nottingham Business School, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK)

Employee Relations

ISSN: 0142-5455

Article publication date: 14 June 2019

Issue publication date: 24 July 2019




Three years on from the Brexit vote, while it remains a central topic for debate in the media, there has been limited discussion about the human resource (HR) implications. The purpose of this paper is to provide theoretical evaluation and informed discussion, distilled into four interconnected propositions, on how employee resourcing as a HR practice may be impacted following actual Brexit decisions.


Drawing on the employee resourcing literature, the paper adopts a discursive approach which examines how the UK’s decision to exit the European Union will affect HR practice. The paper draws comparison with the global recession since 2008, a similarly unprecedented development in its discussion of employee resourcing practices and draws parallels which may help to inform the future of HR practices in the UK, because of Brexit.


This paper offers a set of propositions; the flow of talent into the UK may become more restricted and reinvigorate the “war for talent” that followed the effects of the global financial crisis on the UK. To attract and retain workers in relatively lower-skilled roles, employers may be faced with a need to re-skill such roles and adopt more flexible working arrangements. Finally, to meet skilled employment requirements, removal of restrictions to recruit from within the European Economic Area may trigger increased global migration of skilled workers.


This paper contributes to the discussions regarding the implications of Brexit for HR practice by offering propositions to shape future research agendas.



The author is grateful for the guidance received from Professor Ian Clark and Professor Daniel King and for the valuable comments received from the anonymous reviewer.


Ridgway, M. (2019), "Brexit: human resourcing implications", Employee Relations, Vol. 41 No. 5, pp. 1033-1045.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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