LONDON, U.K. - According to a fresh report by recruitment firm Hays, companies in the U.K. are putting off making long-term decisions about their plans to expand while Britain’s exit of the European Union is negotiated.
Paul Venables, the company’s finance director has said that while employment in the U.K. is relatively stable, companies have displayed reluctance to commit to any major hiring sprees while there continues to be political and economic uncertainty.
He said, “There is no long-term investment in any of the sectors. People are very focused on the next 18 months until we get some sort of clarity. We’re still the largest recruiter in the U.K. but it’s not driving our growth.”
Hays said that fees in the U.K. were down by 5 percent in the second quarter of the year.
The recruitment firm has said that it had experienced “tough market conditions in the public sector” which had contributed a 17 percent drop in fee growth.
The company has meanwhile pointed out that private sector business fee growth fell just 1 percent, showing continued “modest signs of improvement.”
The firm said that in London, fees were down 9 percent, as “conditions remained challenging.”
This week, Hays became the third recruiter to comment on hiring conditions for businesses trading in the U.K.
Earlier, Rival PageGroup blamed Brexit negotiations and ongoing political uncertainty for a further slump in U.K. trading, which was recorded to have slipped by 4.5 percent in the three months to June 30.
Meanwhile, Robert Walters, who heads eponymous firm Robert Walters, said U.K.-based companies had become “bored of Brexit” and were continuing to hire.
Hays has said that despite the slowdown in the U.K. market, growth in its fee income had been 7 percent overall in the three months to June 30, driven by 11 percent and 13 percent growth in Europe and Australia respectively.
It said that due to this, it expected its full year operating profit to the end of June to be ahead of the 209 million pounds forecast.