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Employee rights post-Brexit

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Spotting the signs and causes of stress in the workplace

The UK has now officially withdrawn from the European Union, but what does this mean for our employment rights?

One major post-Brexit concern is that a large part of these rights come from EU law. A key question surrounds how workers will be protected now that we have left the European Union.

Here are some examples:

Limits on working hours

The EU’s working time directive means employees cannot be forced to work more than an average of 48 hours per week. Although workers can choose to opt out and there are some exceptions such as emergency service workers and soldiers. This regulation helps to stop bosses forcing their employees to work unhealthy hours.

Equal pay

There is also an EU directive that ensures equal pay between men and women. This has been part of EU law since 1957 although there were some provisions on equal pay in UK law before Britain joined the EU.

Anti – discrimination laws

There are laws in the UK banning discrimination on a number of grounds, including age, religion or sexual orientation. These come from the EU’s equal treatment directive. EU laws have also made it easier for people claiming for discrimination, by placing the burden of proof in discrimination claims on the alleged perpetrator rather than the victim.

What happens to these rights now that we have left the EU?

Although the UK has now left the European Union negotiations are still ongoing and, in truth, much like human rights laws, the government is unlikely to dispose of these provisions completely. The current Prime Minister has committed to protect workers’ rights, and it is likely that under the government’s ‘Great Repeal Act’ these rights will simply be converted from EU law to UK law.

If you require advice regarding an employment dispute, or if you require HR assistance, and would like more information, you can speak to a member of our team 01616 966 229.