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Implications of Brexit on Employment Law

13 April 2017
Implications of Brexit on Employment Law

Leaving the EU will inevitably have substantial changes in future employment legislation and regulation.

A big part of UK employment legislation is derived from EU law which includes but is not limited to:

  • The Equality Act 2010
  • Discrimination rights
  • Collective consultation obligations
  • Transfer of undertaking regulations
  • Family leave
  • Working time regulations and duties to agency workers
  • Free Movement of Workers

At present, it seems that EU law will prevail within UK employment legislation as the next two years will involve the negotiation of the terms of departure now that Article 50 has been triggered.

In the post-Brexit era, the UK government has the power to repeal all the above-listed laws; it is down to the UK government on how far they will go to take against EU Law.

If the UK completely exit the EU but then decide to become a party to the European Economic Area Agreement (EEA), otherwise known as ‘the Norway option,’ it would remain subject to EU rules to a certain degree.

Free movement of workers is a very grey area for many Employers and Employees in the UK, which is due to the large number of UK nationals living and working in the EU, and a large number of nationals from EU countries residing and working in the UK. Negotiations will be ongoing.

At present, it is likely that the UK government will agree on an amnesty, where existing EU migrants have the option to stay in the UK for a reasonable period of time, in return for UK citizens residing in other EU countries, to be granted the same right.

Overall, with the UKleaving the EU, it is likely that future employment legislation will be subject to change and under scrutiny. This may affect many businesses, Employers, Employees, and workers, however; it is not certain. The affect may be a positive change or a negative one and no doubt is a challenge for the government.

It is likely that the government will take a piecemeal approach where minor modifications are proposed. It is likely that the UK government may make changes to the laws which have originated from the EU but have not been entrenched in the current legal system.


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