Why workers’ rights will remain unchanged in a no deal Brexit

The hype of conjecture continues as we draw closer to 20 March 2019. Yes, we are (or so we are told) nowhere closer to getting the magic deal we want to sign the divorce papers with Europe. The question for employers, however, remains to be what happens in the employment context if there is no deal.

The answer? Not much as it stands.

The government has already confirmed that EU regulations and directives will automatically be made domestic law through The EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018. Indeed, a number of UK laws are already more advantageous that EU laws oblige. While changes to the language of workplace legislation will need to be made in order to reflect the fact that the UK will no longer be a member of the EU, no policy changes will be made.

Dominic Rabb, the Secretary for exiting the EU stated that the “technical notice on workplace rights explains the steps we are taking…so workers will continue to be entitled to the rights they have now, such as flexible working or parental leave. In many areas we already go much further than the EU.”

There are many who remain sceptical of the government’s intentions. Some say that the government is merely waiting to be free from EU eyes before scrapping established rights. Such a way of thinking may work if you lived in many other countries in the world where governments are openly and willingly running dictatorships, but the UK is not one of those nations.

Of course, the transition is not a straightforward one. The may be issues for EU based employees of UK-based employers whereby the employer becomes insolvent. The UK nationals in that EU country may not be protected under their national laws which may affect their ability to bring a claim.

A lot of people will be wondering what will happen to EU migrants working in the UK. The short answer is: Keep calm and don’t commit to the mass exodus. The government has repeatedly mentioned that EU migrants will have the right to stay in the UK if there is no Brexit deal.

All in all, the best thing to do is to continue to keep doing what we’re doing. Keep working. Keep up to date with current affairs and finally, stop panicking.

For more information please contact Roy Magara

Published on 11/09/2018

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