News & articles

How Will The EU Withdrawal Bill Affect Workers’ Rights?

September 12th, 2017

MPs in the House of Commons have been debating what is arguably one of the most important pieces of legislation in recent history this week – the European Union Withdrawal Bill.

Many of our current laws surrounding workers’ rights have come from the EU and include things like the right to paid holidays, time off for family emergencies and equal pay for women, among many others.

Writing for the Guardian, Frances O’Grady, TUC general secretary, expressed concern that, although the initial European Union Withdrawal Bill will protect these rights, there are “mechanisms that allow future governments to gut some of those hard-won rights” hidden in the bill.

The concern is that if this bill is passed as it currently stands, future changes to employment and equality law could be made through regulations, Ms O’Grady explained, and that means MPs won’t debate these potential changes.

The TUC is calling for a stronger protection of workers’ rights, namely that changes to any such legislation that has come from the EU should only be allowed to happen as a result of primary legislation, with a full parliamentary debate.

European rulings on matters of employment law still have far-reaching implications here in the UK and will continue to do so until we officially exit the EU.

A recent example is the ruling by the European Court of Human Rights that employers must tell their employees if they are monitoring messages sent through work email or messaging accounts.

The intricacies of the UK’s legal system mean it’s important for businesses of all sizes to have employment solicitors on hand to help ensure they operate within the law and treat their employees fairly.


Let's talk 01494 773377   |   |   Free online enquiry