What impact will another general election have on County Durham businesses?

With yet another vote rapidly approaching, everyone is wondering what the future will hold. Will the Conservatives retain their power, or is there another electoral surprise around the corner?

One thing is for sure: uncertainty is not good for business.

Alison Schreiber, who runs outsourced HR consultancy, The HR Dept Durham & Darlington, discusses the impact on decision-making and workplace culture.

She said: “In the short-term, news of another election brings further instability to Durham businesses. Organisations, which already have one eye on what Brexit will mean for them, now have to listen to a range of party proposals for further changes.”

“Labour are proposing four new bank holidays, for instance. Great for employees, the tourist trade and DIY stores. But manufacturers would face four days of lost productivity. And many businesses would feel the pinch as it puts further pressure on the cost of hiring.”

Other employment-related topics include to what extent employment law will be altered post-Brexit, repeal of the Trade Union Act and how quickly we accelerate towards a £10-an-hour living wage.

Alison continues: “It’s not just the impact of politics on strategic decisions that we must consider. Employees will invariably hold differing political opinions. As election day looms, conversations between colleagues may get heated. What’s the correct etiquette when it comes to talking politics?”

“Most people will naturally keep their opinions to themselves, and we certainly wouldn’t recommend encouraging workplace conversations on the topic. With so much at stake, strongly held views will likely be defended robustly.

“If things do get out of hand, it’s right for employers to step in and defuse a situation. However, it’s important not to penalise employees for the opinions they hold, assuming they’re legal.

“A final point is that universal voting is a crucial tenet of our democracy. It’s good practice to be accommodating to staff members on voting day to ensure they can make it to a polling booth.”

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