Following Britain’s decision to leave the European Union in June, earlier this year, many are now interested to see the impact on employment law. With so many laws and legislation affecting British workers deriving from the EU, it will be without a doubt interesting to see which will survive.
EU law heavily impacts working time regulations here in the UK. For instance, holiday pay, accruing holiday entitlement, breaks and maximum working hours per week are all derived from EU legislation. However, these basic employment benefits are unlikely to be changed or tweaked negatively for British employees. In recent cases, EU law has seen employees now be entitled to both commission and overtime in their holiday pay – however, it is yet to be seen whether this will transgress to Britain’s new self-sufficient employment laws.
A large proportion of the UK’s discrimination laws have derived from domestic legislation. Therefore, it is unlikely that post Brexit these will disappear. It is also unlikely that Brexit will have any impact on discriminatory laws in a forward thinking country like the UK. Existing discriminatory laws are likely to be kept, and positively enhanced if changed at all. Laws which protect age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation).
Currently, however there is no limit to the amount of compensation which can be awarded in discriminatory cases. Which is where EU protection is heavily influential, as it requires member states to provide ‘real and effective compensation or reparation […] for the loss and damage sustained […] as a result of discrimination. This could be subject to a statutory cap, as unfair dismissal is, post Brexit.
Newly implemented Prime Minister Theresa May has even made some comments on the matter stating that, ‘If you’re from an ordinary working class family, life is much harder than many people in Westminster realise. You have a job, but you don’t always have job security… We will do everything we can to give you more control over your lives’.
Her comments are ensuring that there will be not a loss of security – which includes the consideration of employment rights, losing your job arbitrarily or ‘unfair dismissal’.
No one knows what post-referendum life entails, specifically within employment law. However, it seems likely that a change will come, and impact all of our working lives once we finally leave as a member state of the European Union.