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Date Posted: 22/03/2019


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BREXIT & EU WORKER RIGHTS Update

There will be no change to the rights and status of EU citizens currently living in the UK until 30 June 2021, or 31 December 2020 if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. You and your family can apply to the EU Settlement Schemeto continue living in the UK. The scheme will open fully by 30 March 2019.

source: UK Government website 13/03/2019 https://www.gov.uk/ 

But.......

After 29 March 2019 if there’s ‘no deal’

The EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018 brings across the powers from EU Directives. This means that workers in the UK will continue to be entitled to the rights they have under UK law, covering those aspects which come from EU law (including those listed above except where caveated below). Domestic legislation already exceeds EU-required levels of employment protections in a number of ways. The government will make small amendments to the language of workplace legislation to ensure the existing regulations reflect the UK is no longer an EU country. These amendments will not change existing policy. This will provide legal certainty, allowing for a smooth transition from the day of EU exit, and will ensure that employment rights remain unchanged, including the employment rights of those working in the UK on a temporary basis, except where set out below.

The UK government will continue to work with the devolved administrations to ensure workers’ rights continue to operate across the UK.

In the following cases, withdrawal from the EU in a ‘no deal’ scenario has impacts on participation in agreed arrangements with the EU which benefit all EU countries:

  • Employer Insolvency: Currently, UK and EU employees working in the UK are protected under the Employment Rights Acts 1996 and Pension Schemes Act 1993(or the relevant legislation in Northern Ireland on employment rights and pension schemes) implementing the Insolvency Directive, with procedures in place for making claims in the case of employer insolvency. Similarly, UK employees working in an EU country are protected by the laws of that country that implement the directive.
  • European Works Councils: Currently EU law allows for workers to request, in certain circumstances, that their employer establishes a European Works Council to provide information and consult with employees on issues affecting employees across 2 or more European Economic Area states. These rules are set out in the European Works Council Directive (2009/38/EC). The statutory framework that applies to European Works Councils would require a reciprocal agreement from the EU for them to continue to function in their present form within the UK.

Implications

In a ‘no deal’ scenario, there are no expected financial implications or impacts for citizens or businesses operating in the UK (whether UK or EU-based) in regard to workplace rights. There are some implications in relation to European Works Councils and the insolvency of some employers, laid out below.

 

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