What Does Brexit Mean For Employees

Date Added 06.07.16

The important thing to note is that whilst the Government try to negotiate a new trade relationship with the EU, we are still a Member of the European Union and therefore nothing will immediately change.

It’s hard to predict what this could mean in terms of EU enforced employment rights for individuals or rights to work in the UK for EU citizens and vice versa. I suspect though that not a lot will change in terms of the UK law. Here are my predictions on the key employment law rights:-

Discrimination

The UK have had anti discriminatory laws for over 40 years. Currently we have the Equality Act 2010, which prohibits discrimination. This is our legislation. It is unlikely to change. However, the Government may decide to cap the amount of compensation payable at an Employment Tribunal in discrimination cases.  Currently there is no cap.

Family Friendly

The UK has always been a champion of family friendly rights and we have recently implemented shared parental leave. It’s therefore unlikely that employee rights in this regard will change.

Redundancy Consultation

Sometimes employers have to take at least 45 days to make their staff redundant. For employees, this can add to the stress of an already uncomfortable process. We could see the Government trying to relax this slightly.

TUPE

Under TUPE, employees can be protected if their employer sells their business or loses a contract to another company. We updated TUPE in 2006 so it’s likely that TUPE will stay to protect employees and their contracts. However, employers may be given scope to harmonise those contracts with their own, so employees may find that their contractual terms don’t stay exactly the same after a TUPE transfer.

Working Time Regulations

The UK pays more holiday than the EU recommend, so like with family friendly rights, the UK is pro working time. One change might be to remove the maximum 48 hour average working week altogether, seeing as most employers tend to ask their employees to opt out of this anyway in practice. So employees could see their rights to refuse to work more than 48 hours on average a week, taken away.

Free Movement of Employment:

Some EU nationals, working in the UK, could be left without the right to work in the UK and in this instance, those employees would have to apply for a work permit or visa. For non-EU citizens, the UK has a points based system for work permits, so this may apply to EU nationals, once Brexit is formalised. How this would affect UK citizens working in the EU, will be a matter for each Member State to determine.

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