Brexit and the effect on Employment Law & Immigration
Many Employers are already raising concerns about their workforce and the impact of Brexit on employment law. For Employers who have a large workforce of EU employees who are not UK nationals the position is uncertain, and certainly those individuals I have spoken to are understandably concerned about their future in the UK.
At this time, we do not know what will be decided once we exit the EU, what we do know is it could take several years before the real impact is felt.
For many years’ individuals have had the right of free movement throughout the EU, and it is not known if this will continue or be a condition of future trade deal with the EU.
What is known is that there is precedent under international law which means that if a person has exercised a right under an international treaty, they may continue to do so if the treaty ends. This coupled with the administrative headache caused by removing or making existing residents apply for a Visa leads me to believe that those already residing and working in the UK will not be sent back to their country of origin.
With regards to employment law, as you will know if you regularly read my newsletter, much of UK employment law originates from EU legislation. Because EU legislation has been implemented into UK primary legislation it would need further domestic legislation to change this and therefore there will not be an overnight change in employment law.
I often tell people that in fact UK law often goes further than EU law in employment law provisions and again this is unlikely to change. Although in theory if the current or future government were inclined they could remove protections which originate from the EU such as minimum holiday and parental leave.
What will likely change is the reference to the European Court of Justice on points of law that come from Europe, depending upon the terms of the UK’s exit from the EU and what is negotiated moving forward we could still be bound by some or all of the EU’s directions on employment law.
My advice at this time is to keep an eye on what is happening but it must be business as usual. I know a number of businesses are concerned about recession and the economic effects of Brexit. If this is the case for your business, my advice would be to regularly review your numbers, have a good budget and forecasting and if you feel that it is necessary to make personnel changes in your business, changes to employment terms or redundancies seek some advice at an early stage to ensure that you get the process right from the beginning.