Time for transition:

prepare and act now

T e vast majority of 2020 has, understandably, been dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic but businesses are now being urged to focus the mind and start planning for the UK’s impending departure from the European Union. The 12-month transition period formally comes to an end at midnight on December 31 and, deal or no deal, the parting of ways will then be offi cial. Business advisers from SEMLEP’s Growth Hub have stressed

the importance of understanding the impact this will have on your organisation and planning for what changes will need to be made as Big Ben strikes to signal the start of a new era for British business. Ruth Cozens, Business Adviser Team Leader, has outlined the fi ve

key areas that businesses need to bear in mind when putting plans in place to be ready for the end of the transition period.

Importing and exporting T e end of the transition period will signal a change in the way you import and export to and from Europe and other countries around the world. T ere will be changes to tariff s and VAT and that is likely to trigger a short-term increase in paperwork – companies need to be ready for this and understand what a ‘no-deal’ scenario could mean for them. It’s time to explore potential opportunities from new trade deals and put plans in place now to ensure you are in a strong position come New Year’s Day.

Suppliers and supply chain Organisations will need to consider the impact of changes to the trading landscape on their suppliers and contractors. Delays at borders are likely to impact the in-bound supply chain, potentially causing shortages of key inputs. Now is the time to agree plans with suppliers, review contracts and establish a plan to mitigate disruption at borders. It may also be an opportunity to look at diversifying and re-prioritising your target markets.

People Rising labour costs and reduced access to EU workers means businesses will need to work smarter to attract, keep and develop the people with the skills they need. Government has now fi nalised the regulations on employing people from outside the UK and it’s important that if you are currently employing an EU citizen you know where they are from, that they have the right to be here and that you communicate clearly with employees – talk to them about potential challenges and opportunities and any changes you expect to make.


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