Our Solicitor Writes:
As we weather through another lockdown it seems that Brexit has taken a back seat; however it, like Christmas, is creeping up on us.
With Brexit only a few weeks away, you may be unsure about the legal changes and implications that leaving the European Union will mean for you, as either an employer or employee. We are currently still in the ‘transition’ period until the 31st of December. We have been continuing to trade and live under the original guidelines that were in place prior to us leaving the EU.
Changes in the immediate future?
There is little change expected to employment laws in the near future, as the government have made their position very clear that all existing workers’ rights will be entrenched in British law. In relation to current employment rights, the Government has issued a series of technical notices which confirm that, in the event of a “no deal” Brexit, workers in the UK will continue to enjoy the rights they are currently entitled to under EU law. The Withdrawal Agreement also provides that EU law will continue to apply during the transition period until the Brexit Long Stop Date. Employment law rights derived from EU law, such as anti-discrimination, collective consultation obligations, family leave, and working time rights will therefore be maintained for this transition period as a minimum.
Changes to employment law in the future?
It is entirely plausible in the future that Parliament could make changes to the legislature in relation to employment law, however it would be unexpected for it to be anything major due to the commitments that have been given by the government. However, it is always worth bearing in mind that under the Withdrawal Act of 2020 the Supreme Court could re-examine and overturn doctrines derived from European case law.
What changes are most likely?
There are a lot of EU-based rights that are not guaranteed post 31st December. The first example is discrimination; while there are a large number of protected characteristics recognised by the UK, the EU added age, religion and sexual orientation to the list. Although these have all correctly been accepted, in the absence of EU law, the UK may decide to cap the level of compensation currently being awarded for these characteristics. There are also other topics that may be changed.
If you have any issues, or potential issues, you may be aware of in relation to your employment currently or in the near future, please do not hesitate to contact us here at Marlborough Law for quality legal advice and support.
And may all of us at Marlborough Law, myself, Alex, Mike, Christian, Mandy and Nancy, wish you a very Merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year.