Although the Brexit deal news has been very much welcomed, the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) warns of the potential impact on financial and professional services.
Tania Bowers, Legal Counsel and Head of Public Policy at APSCo, explains, “There is no doubt that the deal creates more certainty to help fuel economic recovery. The compromise on equivalence which leaves the UK free to set its own standards in areas such as labour law, means we can, in a limited way, diverge from EU regulation. The Agency Worker Regulations (AWR) is an example of one EU regulation that the professional recruitment sector sees as red tape and would like reviewed.
“The fact that there will no longer be mutual recognition of professional qualifications is likely to impact professionals wanting to work in other EU countries, as they will now have to apply to each member state to have their qualifications recognised. This will apply to all professions such as accountancy, law and medicine and may well impact professional services recruiters and professional contractors.”
Bowers added, “While the agreement contains no detail on the huge amount of personal data which flows between the UK and the EU, we understand that this will be covered in a separate ‘adequacy agreement’ in the coming weeks. If granted it means that the EU will recognise UK data protection standards as equivalent to its own – a major issue for the recruitment sector which relies on the free flow of personal data. However, we understand that the EU has agreed for the flow of personal data to continue as it does currently for a period of four months.
“However, the deal does not cover services and, in particular, there is no agreement yet on financial services access to EU markets. There is an agreement to keep talking about financial services regulation and we are hoping the EU will give equivalence to the UK and its regulated companies otherwise firms will have to seek permissions from individual member states to operate there.
“There will be no doubt a lot of poring over the detail over the coming weeks, but we are relieved that there is now a deal to be ratified by the UK and EU Parliaments. The journey is not over but the largest hurdle is, at least, overcome.”
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