With less than a month until the polls open for the EU referendum, the internet is abuzz with think-pieces, reports and flaming opinions being hurled from all angles. If you want to get caught up with the main issues before reading this, go ahead… we’ll wait. Okay? Ready? Let’s talk about employment rights!
So first off, you can check out a comprehensive list of your basic rights at work over on Citizens Advice’s website. Secondly, as the Guardian report, if the vote resulted in us leaving the EU there wouldn’t be any dramatic changes the next day in terms of laws because a revamp would make the UK market look amazing and cast a shadow over the rest of the EU. Nobody is going to go for that!
In terms of actual employment law: “The level of protection afforded to workers is so woven into the fabric of the employment relationship that their wholesale removal would not only be unexpected by employers, but would be politically unthinkable for any government”
But there are some areas of employment law that could be up for review if Brexit goes ahead.
As it stands, there is a directive in place that means that employers cannot force a working week any greater than 48-hours. The law around carrying forward holiday while off sick is not as firm as it’s ever been so the new government may want to give employers greater discretion around these processes.
Right now you don’t require a minimum amount of service to make a claim for discrimination. The new government may introduce a compensation cap on successful claims which is presently unlimited. This change will be justified as a claim that “employers are seriously exposed to financial and repetitional risk as soon as a claim is made”. You may have to work for a company for a minimum of two years before you can process a claim!
Agency Workers/Temp Workers
This one is particularly important for young people today. If you were to go through an agency to get some temporary work, you still have the same basic employment rights as a permanent work. This is considered highly unpopular by employers and, as a result, there is heavy speculation that this will be one of first laws to be reformed following Brexit.