Brexit -what are the implications for employment law?


The simple truth of course, is that we have to wait and see, but leaving the EU would make no immediate difference because we have implemented all EU Directives into Regulations - which remain binding UK regulations. This may change, as our future relationship with the EU is negotiated but predictions made in April by Daniel Barnett of Employment Law Services offer a balanced view.

We may remain bound by some of the European employment laws, as the EU countries would not enter into trade and other agreements with us if we were able to undercut them by allowing businesses to employ workers on less onerous terms.

According to Daniel Barnett the laws we'd probably have to remain signed up to are likely to be the main social framework laws, including the working time.

He also predicts:

TUPE will remain as part of accepted employment protection, but there would be minor changes such as a relaxation of consultation provisions, and probably allowing post-transfer harmonisation of terms and conditions.

The current provision for Redundancy consultation for 20+ employees is unpopular with employers and he suspects it will be watered down, for example requiring collective consultation only if over, say, 100 people being made redundant.

Most of the Working Time Regulations will remain. The current 5.6 weeks in the UK paid holiday entitlement will certainly stay, as we added to the European 4 weeks' paid annual leave requirement. However, he considers some of the holiday time cases will be reversed. For example accruing holiday during long-term sick leave, and the inclusion of commission and overtime into a week’s pay when calculating holiday pay.

He also thinks the maximum average 48 hour working week will be abolished, as it is universally unpopular and commonly ignored. 

According to Daniel Barnett, the Agency Worker Regulations, which require employers to offer equal terms & benefits to agency workers once they've been working for 12 weeks, are massively unpopular and will probably be repealed.  The CBI dislikes them, and unions are ambivalent about them (as very few temporary workers join unions, so the unions have no members' interests to protect).

He thinks that It seems unlikely that there will be much change to the Discrimination regulations that we have, although there could be a call for discrimination compensation to be capped (as unfair dismissal compensation is capped).

There are unlikely to be any reduction to family friendly rights, since we already exceed EU rights considerably, for example 52 weeks maternity and shared parental leave.


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