Recruitment and the Brexit deal


What does the new deal between the UK and EU mean for the recruitment sector? Let’s find out more.

On December 24th, the UK and EU finally reached a post-Brexit trade agreement. It was signed into law on December 30th and the transition period formally ended on December 31st. The challenge now is to understand what it means and adapt accordingly.

The good news is there are some positives to the deal for the recruitment market, as well as the property industry where we do most of our work. It’s why APSCO, the industry body for the recruitment sector, welcomed the deal. In this article, we’ll examine some of the impacts of the agreement for recruitment and property.


The end of uncertainty

The best thing about the deal may be that it has actually happened. It might not be everything you wanted, but at least now you know what you have to deal with.

The uncertainty around what would happen after Brexit was like a brake on the UK economy, especially in the recruitment and property sectors. Many workers were wary of taking new jobs for fear of them not working out and ending up job-hunting in a poor economy – the same for homeowners buying and selling houses.

Now, the brake is off and the economy can recover.


Reducing red tape

As part of the deal with the EU, the UK is free to diverge in the way it regulates employment. It can set its own standards, albeit in a limited way. This could mean that some regulations imported from the EU could be reviewed in a drive to reduce red tape.

Some industry experts see the Agency Worker Regulations (AWR) as red tape. The UK could now alter it if it sees fit.


New processes

The end of the transition period brings new procedures that we will have to adapt to. For example, employers who want to hire workers from outside of the UK have to apply for a license and undergo a verification process.

Going the other way, part of the deal involves a relatively flexible allowance for business visitors to the EU – a maximum stay of 90 days in a 180-day time period. Recruiters and candidates should be able to travel the continent easily, then follow the new processes to supply staff into the EU nations.

While this may prove to be a challenge at first, it is not impossible. If you follow the steps, you will be able to achieve the outcome you need.



The deal is excellent news for the property industry too. The agreement ends the uncertainty, leaving homeowners to buy and sell if they want to. Combined with the stamp duty holiday and record low interest rates, demand for property in 2021 should rise.

As the industry attempts to recover from the Coronavirus crisis in 2021, the reassurance of having the Brexit deal done will boost confidence. However, until enough people are vaccinated and the restrictions are lifted, the market will not return to pre-Brexit levels.


The future

The deal that was agreed on December 24th isn’t the end of negotiations. Perhaps, it is the beginning of the end. There is still a lot more to be settled, much of which will have implications for the recruitment sector.

For example, the current deal only covers the trade of goods. It does not cover services, which make up 80% of the UK economy. However, there is an agreement to carry on talking with a view to agreeing on a deal on services.

There is also no detail on the transfer of personal data between the UK and EU. This is a significant matter for recruiters who rely on the unimpeded flow of data. It is hoped that the UK and EU will come to a preliminary agreement on data in the next few weeks.


Find out more from Joshua Robert

If you’re in the property industry and looking to build a relationship with a committed, forward-looking recruitment agency, talk to the Joshua Robert team on 0121 582 0877, or visit our site today.