Although UK employment law has been heavily influenced by EU law, Brexit will have an impact on local law and its many implementations. After 31 December 2020, UK employment law became a domestic law and employers and employees in the UK are no longer bound to any EU-related policy. We could expect that UK employment law will be subject to change as we progress through the new year.
With that in mind, we are going to take a look at some ways that Brexit will affect employment law here in the UK:
TUPE- TUPE Or Transfer Of Undertakings (Protection Of Employment) – Regulation 2006, is the local implementation of European Union Transfer of Undertakings Directive. It’s an essential component of the UK employment law to protect employees when their business is acquired or transferred to another business. TUPE – Regulation 2006 replaced the 1981 regulations and it had been amended twice in 2014 and 2018. After Brexit, there could be changes to the rules of business acquisitions and transfers. This will ensure better implementations in a post-Brexit situation, which will benefit both employees and employers.
The Equality Act 2010- this Act of Parliament was designed to consolidate, update, and supplement previous anti-discrimination regulations and laws. It is the local implementation of EU Equal Treatment Directives to protect employees against discrimination, regardless of their age, gender, ethnicity, and nationality. It is unlikely that there will be a complete repeal of this Act and the UK government will continue protecting workers from discrimination. However, the government may soon reduce financial risks to employers by implementing a financial cap to discrimination claims.
The Working Time Directive 1998- this statutory instrument is the local implementation of the EU Working Time Directive 2003 in the Great Britain and it doesn’t apply to Northern Ireland. The directive includes a set of employees’ rights related to working time, which include paid holidays and paid breaks. It is a well-accepted standard in the Great Britain and the government may not radically reform this. However, the UK government may remove a cap on working hours, because the United Kingdom is the only one with an opt-out to the 48 working hours in a week. There could also be changes in how payments work for paid holidays.
The Agency Workers Regulations 2010- this statutory instrument was designed to protect people employed by agencies against discrimination. Compared to full-time employees, they should be treated equally, paid similarly and work for similar hours. However, this regulation is seen as unpopular and complex. Large businesses in the UK may propose changes to rules that give agency workers similar rights as full-time employees after 12 weeks of qualifying periods. Many employees consider this requirement as burdensome.
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