More than a quarter of owner-managed businesses state that Brexit would negatively impact their ability to hire.
Specifically, one in seven (14 per cent) OMBs think the cost of recruiting the right workers would increase, while one in eight (13 per cent) say Brexit would increase the cost of hiring low-skilled workers, according to the Owner Managed Business (OMB) Barometer from Bank of Cyprus UK.
In addition to cost increases, a quarter (25 per cent) of OMBs say they have suffered uncertainty as a result of the referendum and are delaying business decisions because of this.
Despite this, four in ten OMBs (42 per cent) say that a possible Brexit outcome would have little or no impact on business decisions, while six in ten (58 per cent) say the result of the EU referendum would make no difference to their recruitment policies.
In fact, one in five (19 per cent) OMBs see Brexit as a potential to reduce red tape. One in ten (10 per cent) OMBs believe this reduction in red tape would increase their ability to hire a greater number of staff, while a similar number (9 per cent) 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 per cent saying they oppose or strongly oppose a UK exit from the European Union and 37 per cent supporting or strongly supporting a UK exit from the European Union.
Commenting on the research findings, Lakis Kasapis, head of banking at Bank of Cyprus UK says, ‘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.
Equally worrying is the fact that OMB’s uncertainty in the run up to the referendum is causing them to delay decisions, and the impact this may be having on their business, Kasapis says.
‘OMBs need to plan for both eventualities and the resulting effect on their business now so that they can move forward with decision-making as soon as the outcome is known.’
Further reading on Brexit