The government have confirmed that workers’ rights will not change in the event of a no deal Brexit and that workers will continue to be covered under The EU Withdrawal Act 2018, which translates EU legislation into UK law.
When the UK leaves the EU, it will enter into a transition period during which pretty much everything including worker’s rights will remain the same. This means that workers will be entitled to the same rights they have now which includes flexible working, parental leave et al. However, in the future the government would be able to change, or ditch established rights without any intervention from the European courts.
The government has already confirmed that employers will not need to make additional right-to-work checks in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Recently the Prime minister, Theresa May, confirmed at the CBI conference that the UK’s future immigration system will no longer allow EU nationals to jump the queue ahead of skilled migrant workers.
She said; ‘’It will no longer be the case that EU nationals, regardless of the skills or experience they have to offer, can jump the queue ahead of engineers from Sydney or software developers from Delhi. Instead of a system based on where a person is from, we will have one that is built around the talents and skills a person has to offer.”
Alarmingly, it has been reported that wages could drop by an average of 10% in the event of a no-deal Brexit. The analysis suggests wages would drop in response to predicted downturns in productivity and long-term growth. There is also a general consensus that economic activity would be lower in all sectors in the event of a no deal Brexit with manufacturing being most severely affected. Mark Carney has said that large parts of the British economy are not ready for a no-deal Brexit.
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By Bruce Ramshaw