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Warehouses Will Follow Offices By Offering More Staff Amenity, And It's All Thanks To Brexit


The risk of a Brexit exodus of European Union warehouse and supply-chain workers will prompt warehouse landlords and developers to follow office developers by adding more staff amenities.

The claim comes after research published by the Recruitment & Employment Confederation found that 60% of recruiters operating in the warehousing sector recruit at least half the temporary staff they supply from the EU with 28% saying Europeans make up three quarters or more of their agency workers.

“The Brexodus risks will prompt a lot of warehouse occupiers to look more closely at robotics. It is driving the market in that direction and the property sector will have to respond," Cushman & Wakefield Industrial Partner Simon Lloyd said.

“I don’t think anybody yet knows what the consequences will be. But we already have labour supply problems — there is a shortage of HGV drivers for instance — and when you already have stresses in the labour market Brexodus could only exacerbate them.”

Lloyd predicts that developers and landlords will begin to add extra employee amenities to new developments, copying a trend already well advanced in the office sector.


“We’ll see more emphasis on skills training academies and on good public transport, but it could also be helpful for landlords to upgrade amenities. If there is a battle for talent, this will help their tenants win it,” Lloyd said.

“So far the industrial sector is not as fully engaged as the office sector, but they are starting to engage and it is up to occupiers to demand extra amenities. Perhaps even the occupiers have yet to engage fully, because their approach is very cost-driven based on their contracts. But losing staff, which may be the consequence of not acting, is the greatest pressure on warehouse occupiers to rethink how they approach labour issues.”

Industry-wide concern in the warehouse sector is mounting.

"At a time when the U.K. is experiencing the lowest youth employment rate since the 1970s and the Government remains committed to a post-Brexit cap on net migration, labour has become a scarce resource, particularly at peak times,” U.K. Warehousing Association Chief Executive Peter Ward said.

To relieve some of the pressure felt by supply chains during peak periods, UKWA is urging the Government to allow employers to continue to access temporary and seasonal workers from the EU.