Many employers have been wondering whether Brexit would mean a change to some EU-derived employment laws.
Brexit rather slunk into effect back in January, the headlines overtaken by Covid-19 and the third national lockdown in the UK. To salve some of the negative effects on business, many employers have been wondering whether Brexit would mean a change to some EU-derived employment laws that cause consternation on the ground. Hope therefore surged earlier this year when the Financial Times hinted at government plans to rip up certain employment laws including the 48 hour weekly working time limit, rest breaks and the inclusion of overtime in certain holiday pay calculations.
It wasn’t to be. The newly appointed business secretary has confirmed that there is no plan to reduce workers’ rights. Kwasi Kwarteng MP said it is the government’s intention to protect and enhance workers’ rights rather than row back on them. He confirmed that the department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy was carrying out a consultation with business leaders on EU employment rules including the Working Time Directive. Apparently, the consultation will look at our previous EU membership and the aspects that the UK may want to keep. Mr Kwarteng acknowledged that there had been stories about a bonfire of rights but added that ‘this couldn’t be further from the truth’. Sadly, for anyone hoping that TUPE would be a thing of the past, or that holiday pay calculations might become a bit easier, a seismic post-Brexit shift in employment law isn’t on the cards just yet.
Find out how we can help. Our partner, Jon Dunkley, heads the Wollens specialist Employment Department. Contact him today for an informal chat, without obligation on 01271 342268 or via email at [email protected].