One of the issues which Brexit had brought to light was the question of workers’ rights and employment legislation.
Following the UK’s departure from the EU the business secretary, Mr Kwasi Kwarteng, gave assurances that there would be no erosion or dilution of workers’ rights.
However, the Business Secretary has confirmed to the business, energy and industrial strategy committee that the UK government is now carrying out a consultation with business leaders on EU employment rights, including the Working Time Directive which sets a maximum 48-hour working week. Ministers are adamant that these protections will not be eroded. However, Mr Kwarteng also states that the review of these protections is to “… examine what we want to keep…”.
The Financial Times has stated that such protections could be scrapped and there is also further uncertainty in relation to how holiday pay may be calculated as well as new rules on rest breaks. Such changes may run contrary to the agreement reached between the EU and the UK which provides for a certain standard of employment and workers’ rights to be upheld as discussed in our recent update: Brexit: Employment Aspects.
It will be an interesting area to follow as things develop in 2021.
Posted on January 20, 2021