Last month, we were all a little uncertain as to what the future held for our country and, now that the vote has been and gone, it seems we’re still quite unsure. The effects of Brexit on businesses are varied, complex and dependent upon sector and industry. The effects of Brexit for Employers, however, has a little more light shed along that path.
Although much UK employment law is derived from EU law, the UK’s withdrawal from the EU is unlikely in itself to have an immediate impact on employment law as most EU Directives are implemented in the UK by regulations or Acts of Parliament. For example, even if the UK is no longer required to comply with EU equality Directives, the Equality Act 2010 will remain in place. It will be for Parliament to decide whether to retain, amend or repeal domestic legislation.
It is possible that the UK will be required to continue to implement elements of EU legislation as a condition of a negotiated trade deal between the UK and EU but this will not be immediate; the UK will have a period of up to 2 years within which to negotiate the terms of its withdrawal. This period will begin when the UK triggers art.50 of the Treaty on European Union; it is not yet known when this will happen.
Some changes we could see in the future may include the harmonisation of contracts after TUPE transfer, the calculation of holiday pay, agency workers’ rights, and t he introduction of a cap on compensation in discrimination claims.
Employers also needn’t worry about employees who are EU nationals or nationals of the other countries of the European Economic Area and Switzerland. Just like the changes to employment law, the right to live and work in the UK for EU, EEC and Swiss nationals will not see any changes until withdrawal negotiations, of which the rights of EU nationals to come and live and work in the UK will be a key element, are complete.
In short, you can assure all employees, regardless of nationality, that there will not be immediate changes to their rights as an employee within your business and you can rest assured that your organisation continues to be compliant with UK and EU law.