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Employment Law: Brexit Update

The House of Commons Library has issued a briefing paper on what the implications might be for employment law following Brexit.


By way of gentle reminder, the United Kingdom remains very much part of the European Union. Although the strict timeframe for a formal exit process remain unclear, the Prime Minister Theresa May has announced that the UK government will aim to trigger the process by the end of March 2017. The exit process is to be completed within two years unless agreement to extend it can be reached with the EU. 


The paper does not shed any new light on the government’s thinking ahead of Brexit. It highlights the government's proposed Great Repeal Bill which will be used to import all EU related primary and secondary legislation into UK law, with the intention that the UK Parliament, unshackled from overarching EU laws, can then choose to keep, amend or abolish those laws as it deems appropriate. Also included is the Prime Minister's recent declaration at the Autumn Conservative Party conference that existing workers’ rights will continue to be guaranteed under UK law as long as she is Prime Minister; observers will be interested to see how the conversation develops at a national and European level over the coming weeks and months. 

The paper does set out the following rights which might be affected, albeit without commenting as to what could actually happen:-

  • Working Time
  • Agency, part-time and fixed-term workers
  • Data Protection 
  • Discrimination and Equal Pay
  • Health and Safety
  • Maternity and Paternity 
  • Insolvency
  • TUPE
  • Young workers


For the moment - so far as employment law and HR is concerned, it is “Keep Calm and Carry On”.

Employers and employees alike should continue to monitor developments and we will keep you up to date as the situation unfolds.

Our last briefing on Brexit from June 2016 is here.

Source: House of Commons Library: Briefing paper number CBP 7732: Brexit: employment law (12 October 2016)

If you would like any further information please contact Employment Solicitor Daniel Stander on 0808 168 5550 or email us on

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