The UK will be heading to the polls this week to cast their vote on whether the country should break away from the European Union as part of the EU Referendum.
Since the EU referendum was announced, there has been much speculation from both sides over the benefits and risks of either staying or leaving. Boris Johnson has been trying to calm concerns about the value of the pound in the event of Brexit, in response to the Bank of England’s warning that a vote to leave risked hitting economic growth and pushing the pound down sharply.
But what we do know is that if the country does decide to leave the EU, changes in legislation will not happen instantly. Preparations may already be underway in case of a leave vote, but the separation will be a lengthy process and there will be a two year transition out period.
Many of our employment laws have come from the EU, but it is anticipated that leaving won’t affect them too much. If the result is to leave, negotiations could see that the UK continues to remain within the European Economic Area or European Free Trade Area. This could leave the country committed to existing EU directives on such things as collective consultation, agency workers and working time, but without the capacity to influence these laws.
Potential impact of Brexit
Leaving the EU could see a reduction in the administrative responsibilities of employers regarding record-keeping, rest periods and breaks. The current 48-hour average working weekly time limit could also be scrapped and a simpler process of working out holiday pay could be introduced, that avoids regular payments of non-guaranteed overtime or commission.
Employers are currently required to pay staff on sick leave in lieu of holidays if they should leave the job, but this could be changed if we leave the EU. There could also be an impact on employing agency workers in the future. Currently agency workers are entitled to equal terms and conditions as employed staff after they’ve been working for the employer for 12 weeks, but this could be changed.
Whatever the nation decides at the polls next week, if the UK votes to leave, only time will tell what the true impact of that separation will be for the country and its employers.
HR Solutions are not attempting to sway decisions either way, but encourage all voters to research the facts and figures before they commit to a decision.