On 31 January 2020 Britain officially exited the EU. However, how the law will operate in the future is far from clear and this is no more so true than in employment law.
Boris Johnson’s withdrawal bill contains provisions that lower courts and tribunals might be allowed to depart from the “retained EU law”.
“Retained EU law” refers to the legal provisions which will continue to be UK law after the end of the Brexit transition period (currently scheduled for 31 December 2020). These key provisions contain important employment rights, such as rights relating to pregnancy discrimination, and other forms of discrimination at work, TUPE, redundancy and holiday pay.
Practitioners fear that allowing an Employment Tribunal to depart from retained EU law will lead to widespread uncertainty that will be felt by employers and employees across the UK. Previously settled law will be open for reinterpretation, with retrospective effect. This will make it more difficult for employers and employees to understand the legal position, and make litigation more likely. The Employment Lawyers’ Association is so concerned it has urged the government to restrict the courts and tribunals that are able to do this.
Freemans’ employment lawyer Louise Taft is co-chair of the Employment Lawyers’ Association working party dealing with Brexit and was asked to write for HR Magazine and Global Recruiter about this issue.
If you have any queries about how employment law is affected by the UK leaving the EU, contact Louise on firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7935 3522.
Whatever your personal circumstances the above is only a guide and we would advise you to contact us to obtain definitive advice as you will appreciate that each person’s circumstances are unique to them.