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Brexit: The employment areas that will & won't change

Brexit: The employment areas that will & won't change

Executive Grapevine | Executive Grapevine International Ltd

With uncertainty and insecurity forming a hurricane that’s shaking businesses, everyone wants to know which areas will need the most attention.

Enrique Garcia, a consultant at employment law firm ELAS, discusses which areas will and won’t change.

The areas that are unlikely to change

National Minimum Wage

“This is very much a British idea and regulations are not required by European law. Furthermore, the UK National Minimum Wage is significantly higher than that in similar European systems and the UK Government recently introduced the National Living Wage.”

Transfer of Undertakings (TUPE)

“The UK has gone further than the EU in terms of TUPE and when it applies so there are unlikely to be any changes.”

Unfair dismissal and tribunals

“Legislation relating to unfair dismissals and tribunals will almost certainly remain the same. Much of it did not originate from the EU, for example the fees system which was introduced to stop spurious claims.”


“While many of the UK laws regarding discrimination derive from the EU, it's unlikely that there would be any major overhaul. Many UK discrimination laws have their origins pre-EU. The government could also face serious backlash and uproar, and there would be wider social implications if these laws were to be repealed. When it comes to issues such as the gender pay gap it's impossible to know how they will be shaped, however they will probably remain unchanged for the foreseeable future.”

Data Protection Act

“This is a bit of an unknown area as it came about from an EU law. It's difficult to predict exactly how it will be affected however, echoing the approach to discrimination laws, it's unlikely that the Data Protection Act would be repealed as it would cause public outrage.”

The areas that are likely to change

Working Time Regulations

“The Working Time Regulations (1998) has long been a point of contention with politicians campaigning for the UK to opt out. They influence weekly working hours, rest periods, paid annual leave and extra protection for night workers and, while it's difficult to say how each of these points will be affected, it's more than likely that they will be restructured beyond current recognition but it is unlikely that they will be completely repealed.”

Agency Worker's Rights (AWR)

“This is expected to be high on the list of legislation to be amended or fully repealed. AWR was introduced to comply with the EU's agency workers’ directive and is almost universally unpopular. It has been heavily criticised and is expected to be completely repealed.”

Right to Work

“Leaving the EU calls into question the position of UK nationals living and working in Europe as well as EU citizens working in the UK (as discussed above). The EU will be able to decide the terms on which it will allow British nationals to work in the EU but it's likely that the UK would negotiate separate trade agreements allowing both UK and EU nationals to work flexibly.”