Brexit unlikely to dramatically change UK employment law

Fundamental changes to weekly working time legislation and bankers’ bonuses could be on the cards if the UK votes for a Brexit in June.

However, according to Daniel Pollard, partner at GQ Employment Law, employers looking for widespread “dramatic change” in UK employment legislation after leaving the EU are likely to be left disappointed.

“Just as with Switzerland and Norway, the UK’s arrangements with the EU post-Brexit will prevent major change or it may be politically impossible to make wholesale changes to workers’ rights,” he says. “No mainstream political party will want to campaign on a promise to end paid maternity leave or ‘Make Racism Legal’. Whatever the outcome of the referendum, we are simply not going to see US-style employment at will.”

He says changes to EU legislation such as the weekly working time limit is likely with a possible change to the bankers’ bonuses cap. However, he warns that any alterations here would be “politically difficult”. A change to collective redundancy consultation is also seen as possible but some protection is likely to remain.

On overtime pay he believes minor changes are likely to reverse recent EU court decisions that require payments for overtime during holidays. With data protection legislation Pollard states that wholesale change is unlikely as are any changes to workers’ holidays, family leave and unfair dismissal.