How Will Leaving The EU Impact HR & Employment Law?

Edward Gumm

employees round table
As with any legal system we would all no doubt welcome the opportunity to cherry pick a legal framework that is easy to navigate. This of course must be a system that provides the necessary protection for people and organisations alike.

There is no doubt that the EU has provided us with a legal framework that we have now become accustomed to and have proactively adapted to work with, this will not change overnight. Let’s be clear, the EU has without doubt provided us positive aspects of law (as well as with some onerous processes).

We must remind any scaremongers that no employment law will automatically disappear once the UK actually leaves the EU. There will firstly need to be a formal repealing of any legislation that is to be removed. The UK Government will need to clearly bring forward a sensible case to challenge any laws it wishes to. We currently have no idea of the agenda to do so or indeed if an agenda to change any laws whatsoever even exists at this stage. This certainly applies to employment law. When and if article 50 is invoked we may have a clearer view of priorities and/or requirements, but it will certainly be a useful series of events for those of us with HR and legal responsibilities to follow.  

There is also a huge amount of law in the UK that will be totally unaffected by BREXIT. We need to bear in mind that we will be required to be nimble to adapt to any variations and iterations of the legal framework, but that notwithstanding, the overall landscape should have a sense of familiarity to us all. Something we should all take responsibility for here is to ensure that we remain in control and project a message of calm; this will demonstrate to the global economy that we (the European HR and Legal community) are able and well positioned to guide and advise a safe route back to normality or stability.

The outlook for now has to be business as usual for us all. We know with certainty that aspects of employment law in the UK will change but we have no idea which aspects or when. This certainly does not scare me and I can’t help but think – “WHAT’S NEW?”!

Keep The Faith!  The UK/European HR and Employment Law communities are without question nimble and will continue to demonstrate this.

For those of you in HR there is a lot of useful information available about sensible steps to take post BREXIT and for what it’s worth I wanted to share the points that I have found useful.

Sensible steps to reassure the fantastic EU National Employees:

Email from CEO/MD to reassure the entire workforce that it is business as usual.

  • Contact all of your EU national employees – listen to any concerns and then obviously reassure that nothing whatsoever has changed to impact their legal right to live and work in the UK.
  • Contact/Register with the Home Office and DWP to ensure that you are receiving any relevant employer updates.
  • For any employees who need further reassurance, encourage them to contact the UK embassy for their respective nations, many of which already have working groups set up and mailing distribution lists that will duly notify people of any noteworthy changes or updates.  (this has proved a usual and helpful step to take)