PwC: Life beyond Brexit
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson made an historic Christmas Eve statement that a deal had finally been struck with the European Union and he had ‘got Brexit done’ – but PricewaterhouseCoopers warn businesses this is no time to relax as the real work now begins to navigate the changes and form new global partnerships.
The UK formally left the EU on January 1, 2021 after four years of negotiation which resulted in Johnson striking the deal which, although welcomed by consultants, PwC, will also bring challenges to companies brought on by the “fine print of the deal”.
“The agreement of a deal is definitely very good news, but we must remind ourselves that significant change is coming - organisations must still be able to operate outside the EU Customs Union and Single Market which will impact the movement of goods, people and data,” comment PwC.
“With the transition period now over, and a deal agreed, organisations’ must renew their efforts to manage this new way of working,” says PwC who has produced the new paper, Deal done but disruption still to come?
The report takes a look at how the changes will affect businesses in 2021 with a focus on the movement of goods, new immigration rules (how this will impact business travel) and the movement of data.
Movement of goods
Goods moving between the UK and EU are now subject to customs declarations and a new UK Border Operating Model is in place. New procedures for controlled goods and changes to VAT also apply.
“There may also be changes to tariffs for business between the UK and other non-EU countries depending on the other trade agreements and the implications of WTO rules and the UK Global tariff. From 1 January, this will all impact supply chains and buyer behaviours,” comments PwC.
Movement of people
New immigration rules will impact business travel and the different permissions and documentation needed to carry out work while in the 27 EU member states.
“It also means that employing EU nationals without settled status will get more complicated and costly for UK businesses. Practical things that companies should be doing now, if they haven’t already, include applying for a sponsorship licence and communicating with eligible staff about applying to the EU Settlement Scheme,” comment PwC.
Movement of data
PwC points out that there are gaps in some organisations’ data protection and privacy plans.
“GDPR protects personal data - whether relating to employees, customers, or suppliers - moving to countries outside of the EU and EEA unless covered by an adequacy decision, an appropriate safeguard or an exception, which the UK doesn’t yet have.
“Businesses need to understand where the personal data they rely on originates, how it moves around their organisation, and where it is stored. They should update their privacy notices and contracts to make sure data flows remain compliant if the decision doesn’t go in the UK’s favour,” says the report.
PwC acknowledge it is a challenging time for businesses navigating the changes triggered by Brexit and the pandemic but urge businesses to do all they can to minimise disruption this year to “give them the best chance of making the most of the new UK-EU relationship”.
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.