How will the Brexit vote affect employment law?

Since the vote by the UK public to leave the European Union, many questions have been asked about the potential impact of the vote on the different sectors and industries within society - including employment law. This stems from the fact that many of the UK’s laws are derived from EU law, a fact which has commentators wondering whether they will carry over once the process of exiting the EU is complete.


This month, the House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper which lays out the options for employment law following the triggering of Article 50 and the eventual exit from the EU.


On the whole, the briefing paper takes a positive stance on the implications for employment law, stating that Prime Minister Theresa May is committed to ensuring that “existing workers’ legal rights will continue to be guaranteed in law”, even going as far as stating that workers’ rights will be “enhanced under Government”.


At the moment, many of our laws relating to workers’ rights are derived directly from EU legislation. These include rights regarding holiday pay, breaks and maximum working hours, although it is highly unlikely that these will be changed. The paper states that “EU-derived employment rights featuring in primary legislation would be relatively insulated from the effects of leaving the EU”.


Laws surrounding discrimination and certain maternity rights, meanwhile, are rooted in domestic legislation which means it’s even more likely they will be kept.


On the whole, the paper is quite brief and doesn’t make any truly substantive claims on what will or will not happen. The vote to leave EU has been clouded in uncertainty since the day of the result, but the silver lining here is that the government isn’t staying silent on critical issues like employment law.


At First Call HR, we understand the complexities of employment law and can offer expert HR solutions for your business. If you’d like to discuss any of the issues in this article or find out about our services, please give us a call on 07973 531589.