14 March 2016

Brexit In Brief: Employment


Transcript

The first thing to realise is that EU law is now thoroughly embedded in our domestic employment law so no dramatic changes are likely to happen overnight.  It’s more likely that the policy areas will be reviewed piecemeal in the years following Brexit.

Even then, the mid-term view depends on how we choose to define our future relationship with the Europe. If we elect as a country to join the EEA like Norway or the EFTA like Switzerland, then we would still have to follow the EU’s main employment policies. So for example, although I think our Government would love to get their paws all over the working time laws that have become so problematic, or to tackle the much-hated agency worker rules, that wouldn't be possible in that scenario.

In a similar vein, if our banks want to continue operating in Europe then the price that they may have to pay for that would probably be complying with the controversial EU policies on bankers pay, bonus claw backs and so on -- however unappealing they may be.

Having said that, if the Government does achieve a free reign to make changes then I think that the areas they are most likely to tackle are the ones that I have just mentioned. I also think they may also play around the margins of discrimination law. Equal rights have become part of our national culture so I don’t see any wholesale appeals but perhaps they might introduce a compensation cap or remove associative discrimination rights.

Likewise we might see some modest tweaks in other areas impacted by EU law like TUPE or collective consultation laws and family friendly laws – but, no radical reforms. 

So in short, my prediction would be that its evolution rather than revolution but we will have to wait and see.

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