This week’s House of Commons debate on the EU (Withdrawal) Bill illuminates the danger of the current government scrapping or watering down employment laws once we exit the EU.
Post-exit, there will most likely be a degree of “cherry picking” of employment laws, with the government changing or scrapping many especially where doing so might be seen as “business-friendly” (TUPE anyone?). Without the European Court of Justice or EU to prevent this, it will be down to the government of the day, possibly using Henry VIII-style autocratic power with limited oversight in Parliament.
An unlikely event? Why? Whilst Theresa May says she respects workers’ rights, we know many Conservatives don’t and after all who’d bet on Theresa May still being PM in 2019?
Like Kenneth Clarke said in the House of Commons as part of the debate, concerning animal rights and employment protection, “there are members of the present government who are not excessively fond of lizards and bats, or workers’ rights”. He argued for the government to limit what he interprets as a power grab by them for the Henry VIII powers.
Whatever the outcome of the Bill, workers’ rights need to stay. In terms of the main world economies, the UK already has the fewest employment law protections of all except for the US and Canada. Let’s not dumb ourselves down further and let’s look after our lizards, bats and workers.
David Sorensen – Partner
For further information on Employment Rights please visit our website or call 0033 3344 9603 and ask to speak with our Employment Rights team.