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Friday, 11 January 2019 14:49

Employment Law After Brexit

We usually try to keep this blog a Brexit-free zone, however with the shenanigans going on in Westminster at the moment over the terms of the deal under which we leave Europe, we thought it would be a good idea to give some ideas about what might happen with Employment Law after 29th March.

We don’t actually expect any aspects of UK Employment Law that have arrived as a result of EU directives to be repealed. There is potential however; especially for some features of the Working Time Directive. Other laws, which have been initiated in the UK, such as the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage will definitely remain.

As we near the end of the two year period to negotiate the terms of our exit, discussion has revolved almost exclusively around trade and immigration. Whilst sovereignty was one of the key canvassing issues on the run-up to the referendum, little has been debated about UK governance post-Brexit.

Because many of the laws that have come into effect as a result of EU Directives are to the benefit of employees, their sudden withdrawal would be likely create discord amongst the workforce, potentially leading to protests and even strikes. Imagine the reaction from employees if, for example, their rights to holiday pay were withdrawn.

Some UK legislation has been implemented completely independently of the EU and its repeal as a result of our exiting Europe is implausible. It could have been superseded by European Law if we had elected to stay in however. Such legislation includes.

  • The National Minimum and Living Wage
  • Unfair Dismissal
  • The right to strike

Laws that have been implemented as a result of EU legislation and therefore have potential to be repealed include:

  • The Working Time Directive
  • Parental Leave
  • TUPE
  • Equal pay
  • Collective Redundancy Consultation
  • Protection for Part-time and Temporary workers

The Working Time Directive is seen to be the most costly legislation for UK employers to implement and we continue to feel its effect. It was under WTD legislation that a European ruling held that field based employees should count travelling to their first and from their last appointments as working time.

We often hear talk from MPs about alternative exit strategies such as ‘Norway Plus’, but no-one has explained whether free movement of people will mean having to maintain EU directed laws. Moreover, would it mean an obligation to adopt any new laws that the EU introduce.

When we do eventually leave, we must hope that common sense will prevail; that the good laws will stay and the less favourable ones will be scrapped. It’s unimaginable to think that the ban on smoking in indoor public places will ever be repealed for example. Whereas there’s a strong case to ditch the ruling that VAT must be charged on gas and electricity.

Whilst we wait for the final exit, if you find yourself with workplace issues that involve UK Employment Law as it stands, then do call us on 01452 331331 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

 

Read 369 times Last modified on Friday, 11 January 2019 15:00

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HR Champions provide first class HR and Employment Law support and advice to UK businesses; operationally and strategically. If you're an employer you'll potentially need some, if not all, of the services we offer.

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