Andrew Tobey
Posted on 24 Aug 2018

No Deal – no Change? Workplace rights if there’s no Brexit deal

The first series of technical notes has been published setting out the Government's contingency plans in the event that the UK leaves the EU without agreement.

Workplace rights

Workers in the UK will continue to enjoy the rights they are currently entitled to under EU law, says a technical note on 'Workplace rights if there’s no Brexit deal’. The Government states that in order to ensure a smooth transition the following employment rights will remain unchanged:

  • Rights to holiday pay, rest breaks, annual leave, maternity and paternity leave;

  • Protection from discrimination and harassment based on sex, age disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief, and race or ethnic origin in the workplace;

  • Protection of workers' rights where there is a TUPE transfer;

  • Protection of part-time, agency and young workers; and

  • Protection and consultation rights for workers, including for collective redundancies.

European Works Councils

However, a 'no deal' scenario may have some implications in relation to European Works Councils. European Works Councils are bodies representing European employees in the UK. According to the technical note no new requests to set up a European Works Council will be accepted if Britain leaves the European Union without a deal. Therefore, this arrangement may have to be reviewed to ensure that European workers have similar protections in the UK.

In summary, the overall picture shows no significant changes to the existing workplace rights in the event of 'no deal'. The long-term position after the Brexit date, as regards future legislative changes, may of course be less clear.

If you would like more information on this topic, please contact Andrew Tobey, Partner, and Head of Michelmores' Employment team.