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Resigning: a luxury that remains firmly in the hands of a lucky minority

Quitting is a privilege not afforded to the majority of the workforce

We have seen resignations left, right and centre in the few short weeks since the Brexit vote; however, quitting is a privilege not afforded to the majority of the workforce.

David Cameron has stepped aside, stating that he is not the right person to steer the ship onto the correct course. Nigel Farage has resigned as leader of UKIP, stating that he wants his life back. Boris Johnson was forced to abandon his Conservative Party leadership bid and even Andrea Leadsom has stepped aside, leaving the path to Number 10 clear for Theresa May.

If you thought resignations were limited to politics, you would be mistaken. After England were spectacularly defeated by Iceland, Roy Hodgson was quick to step aside. Even Chris Evans is running very quickly away from his Top Gear presenting role following poor viewing figures, insisting he gave it his best shot.

This wide-ranging group of individuals all have one thing in common: they are all wealthy, both monetarily and in terms of the variety of opportunities available to them. This gives them the freedom to resign, as they know it won’t be long before they are settled in another role.

They are part of a lucky minority and such security is not something that the majority of the population has. Many people across the country feel stuck in jobs that either make them unhappy or are poorly paid. The opportunity to move into a new role is a luxury that many are simply not afforded.

In a nation where opportunities are already not equally distributed, Brexit may only further deepen this inequality. When times are uncertain, it is reasonable to expect that employers will reduce recruitment and perhaps even condense their current workforce. In these situations, the well-off will be alright, whereas those who don’t have the same wealth of opportunity available to them may begin to feel pressure on their finances that they simply do not need.

Thinktank Centre for Cities has said that the amount of tax generated in London is almost equal to the combined tax revenue of 37 other large cities. A number of large investment banks are threatening to leave the capital as Brexit continues to create uncertainty with regard to access to markets across the EU.

If these banks do leave, a large portion of government income will be lost. The National Institute of Economic and Social Research conducted analysis surrounding the risk to welfare spending and overall government income stemming from a Brexit vote and concluded that households on a low income would be disproportionately affected.

Should this prove to be correct, standards of living and wages could struggle to see any real positive growth. Many individuals could remain in insecure jobs or find themselves unemployed or underemployed for some time.

David Cameron will find another ship to steer. Nigel Farage has his life back. Chris Evans continues his career with the BBC. Boris will be fine however bruised his ego may currently feel, but what about the millions of workers trapped in low-paid work or the workers who are on zero-hours contracts? The future is not quite as certain for them.

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