We’d understand if this is seen by some of you as a trick question. After all, when no one, right down to the Prime Minister, seems to have the foggiest idea what’s going on from one day to the next, how is the average contractor meant to be able to prepare?
Well, even in the midst of all the Brexit uncertainty, believe it or not, there are still things you can do. But, first, let’s take a look at what’s changed for contractors already since the 2016 referendum.
What’s changed already?
It’s been a mixed bag for contractors since June 2016. On the one hand, some newspapers report that legal and financial consultants have become highly sought after, presumably helping businesses plan ahead and prepare for a post-Brexit landscape. Some industries – construction in particular – have even seen salary increases as a shrinking EU talent pool drives up wages.
However, we’ve also seen several companies leave (or plan to leave) the UK, taking their contractor roles with them. Aviva have transferred £9billion of assets to Dublin, MoneyGram have moved their HQ to Brussels, and Panasonic have moved theirs to Amsterdam.
What could change further?
This is the tricky bit because scenarios change depending on who you ask. But an obvious impact will be the end to freedom of movement within the EU for UK citizens (and vice versa of course). If you regularly travel for work within the EU, you’ll be subject to visa applications and other paperwork (even driving licences will be affected) and this could make you a less desirable contractor for EU-based businesses, as well as increasing your travel costs.
If there is a downturn, many companies may reduce operations to save money, but several companies may reduce UK operations regardless and, at present, no one knows exactly how many and in what ways.
However, some commentators have suggested that Brexit could be good for contractors and changes to immigration law could clear the field for UK contractors working locally.
How can you prepare for Brexit?
- Save money – If there’s a downturn, you may need to dip into savings to boost your income so save money now while you can.
- Keep abreast of current affairs – Brexit news seems to change by the hour some days so try to keep as in the loop as you can so you can note things that particularly affect you.
- Build up your website, CV or portfolio – Look at how you’re selling yourself. If you haven’t refreshed your website, CV or portfolio in a while, now is the perfect time to do it to ensure you’re easy to spot.
- Look at your skills – Do you need to develop your existing skills? Or perhaps learn some new ones? Look at how to make yourself more marketable with a diverse skillset.
- Make sure you’re insured – If you’re going to be marketable in a post-Brexit economy, you need to make sure you meet insurance requirements. Call our expert team on 01242 808740 to ensure you have everything you need.