To Brexit or not to Brexit?

  • By The Alchemist About Town
  • 23 Mar, 2016

Are there employment implications of leaving the EU?

Whatever your feelings and thoughts regarding the referendum and the potential implications of an exit from the EU, logics applied when it comes to employment laws.

The facts so far are:

  • David Cameron has completed his renegotiation and has called a referendum on Britain's membership of the EU.
  • If the Leave campaign is successful and the UK does withdraw from the EU, it would be likely to stay within the European Economic area (EEA) or the European Free trade area (EFTA) and the European directives apply to both areas ; Britain exemption from EU employment law is likely to meet strong resistance from other member states, whether or not the UK remains a member.
  • UK employers might support imposing a cap on discrimination claims which are currently uncapped, with maybe a push for some exemptions for SMEs.
  • An exit would have little effect on family friendly rights as most of the changes introduced in this area were not introduced because of EU law.

We do not know as yet what Britain's relationship with the EU would look like as a non-member state, hopefully more details will emerge as we get closer to the date of the referendum.

For now big changes in the employment sphere look unlikely. The impact on immigration is unclear.

Whatever your views, if you are eligible, do not forget to vote: if you don't like the results on the morning of 24 June, you won't be able to blame anybody but yourself.



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