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Brexit vote 'sparks job security fears'

The UK's vote to leave the European Union has triggered concerns about job security, according to a new survey.

The poll by professional body the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development found that over 70 per cent of employers have received concerns from their staff.

Thirty-six per cent said staff had expressed worries about job security, while another 36 per cent said non-UK employees had asked about their continuing right to work in Britain.

Meanwhile, eight per cent of employers had received reports of increased tension and division in the workplace because of the referendum, while another 25 per cent said incidents had been hinted at but not reported.

Ben Willmott, head of public policy at the CIPD, said: "There is no doubt the vote to leave the UK has had a significant impact on the workplace with many people worrying about their future employment prospects. This is especially true of non-UK nationals, with many clearly concerned about their ability to continue to live and work in the UK after the vote. The Government needs to clearly set out their plans at the earliest opportunity for non-UK citizens to give those workers the clarity and security that they are seeking.

"Until a clear decision is made by Government, many workers will be feeling in limbo so it's essential that employers do what they can to reassure people during this time.

"For most employers it will be important to communicate clearly with employees, stressing that there will be no immediate changes and that the organisation will keep the workforce closely informed about any potential changes as the negotiation over the UK's future relationship with Europe and likely implications become clearer.

"For organisations more immediately affected by a vote to leave, for example because they already have plans to relocate headquarters or operations from the UK to elsewhere in Europe, then the emphasis should be on early and meaningful consultation with staff. This will mean consulting so that employees' views can be taken into account before decisions are taken, that people feel that they have genuine voice and that they are involved in the change process."

He added that reports of division in the workplace are concerning, particularly in the wake of reports of increased incidents of hate crimes.

"Employers have a duty of care to their employees and must ensure their working environment is fair, welcoming and tolerant for all," Willmott said.

"Line managers in particular have a key role in nipping conflict in the bud and making sure that what some may see as 'banter' does not cross the line and become offensive or harassment."

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