Brexit and employment law – where are we up to?

May 4, 2017

After a week of accusations and counter accusations about the mood of a recent dinner discussion between Jean-Claude Juncker and Theresa May, there seems to be a divergence of opinion in the way Brexit talks will go! However, British business can’t sit waiting for the inevitable to happen – especially when planning for growth. And growth means people management! HR180 Mission Control thought it timely to have a look at the influence the EU has had on Employment Law and how that may change in the future. Here’s some key points. employment law and brexit

Attribution: This is taken from the House of Commons Library

Where are we now?

The basic starting point has been that EU employment law has provided a minimum standard below which UK employment law mustn’t fall.

Where we have already had existing domestic employment rights in law, in those cases EU law has simply entrenched those laws – such as race discrimination and maternity provision – with new laws coming out of  EU obligations eg agency workers’ rights and limitations on working time.

What will happen post-Brexit?

To put it bluntly (!) a post-Brexit government MAY seek to amend or remove ANY EU law. As you would expect this would be subject to the provisions of the EU withdrawal arrangements or subsequent trade agreement.

And that actually means…?

That withdrawal from the EU may mean that UK employment rights currently guaranteed by EU law would no longer be guaranteed.

The Government Position

As of yesterday there is not an actual ‘Government’ as we start the countdown to the next General Election. Prior to this the position was that:

  • the Prime Minister confirmed that workers’ existing legal rights will be guaranteed during her period in office
  • the ‘Great Repeal Bill’ will convert all current EU employment law into domestic law, whatever future relationship the UK has with the EU
  • the direct effect of relevant EU rights will persist post-Brexit
  • judgments of the European Court of Justice will be given effect in domestic law at the point of exit.

With just 7 weeks to go to the General Election for 2017 as we publish, everything may change if May is no longer PM…we will be back once the dust has settled but meanwhile pick up the phone if we can clarify any points above or indeed help you with your people planning.

Leeds based HR180 is a team of superheroes in HR Outsourcing, Projects and Consultancy committed to work in partnership with organisations of all sizes to establish working policies to go above and beyond Employment Law requirements, to protect both employees and employers alike. We love to hear from you, so call us on 0113 287 8150 or hit the Rescue Me button.

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