What will Brexit mean for employment law?

Six weeks ago the UK public voted to leave the European Economic Union following possibly the toughest fought political campaign in our country’s history.

A series of resignations, a new Prime Minister and a cabinet reshuffle later and we are still largely unsure as to how and when we will start to see the effects of the vote.

As an area that had been influenced greatly by European Court rulings, there have been suggestions that widespread changes to UK employment law will follow. Here we take a look at what impact the ‘leave’ vote could have on employment law and what action, if any, businesses should take to prepare.

What we know
Whilst decisions made by the European courts are currently binding upon the UK, our government is the body ultimately responsible for creating the legislation required to give these effect. To this end, leaving the EU will have no immediate or wide scale effect on existing employment law.

What we don’t yet know
Whilst we know that at some point article 50 will be invoked, triggering the official start of the exit negotiations, we do not yet know what the outcome of these negotiations will be. The outcomes of this process from an employment law point of view will be largely dominated by the EU’s continued (or otherwise) influence on domestic employment law legislation and practice.

What is likely to happen
Whilst it is unlikely that any employment laws would be scrapped in their entirety, there may be some minor amendments to relax certain rules, especially where legislation is particularly onerous, such as TUPE rules and redundancy calculations.

Importantly, any changes to be made, if at all, will not occur overnight. As such, businesses should not panic or make any immediate amendments to the way they deal with their employees.

If you have not had your contracts of employment, service agreements (contracts of employment for senior employees and/or directors) or consultancy agreements reviewed for some time, please let us know and we will carry out a no obligation review for you. We will say if the contracts are legally compliant or not and where appropriate, how they can be improved in the best interests of the company.

For any further help or advice in relation to any aspect of employment law within your business, please contact either: Pam McColl or Amanda Houlgrave or call us on 0161 312 1864.