The decision of the United Kingdom (UK) to leave the European Union (EU) in 2016, known as Brexit, has had far-reaching consequences on various aspects of UK law. One area that has been particularly affected is employment law. As the UK and the EU continue to negotiate their new relationship, it is important for employers to understand how Brexit has impacted employment law, and what steps they can take to navigate the fallout.
One of the most significant changes resulting from Brexit is that EU law will no longer apply in the UK. This means that EU directives and regulations that previously governed areas such as working time, discrimination, and health and safety will no longer have direct effect in the UK. However, it is important to note that many of these areas of law have been incorporated into UK law, either through primary legislation or case law. As such, there will be little immediate change to the rights and protections afforded to workers in the UK.
One area that has seen significant change is immigration law. EU citizens who were previously able to live and work in the UK under freedom of movement rights will now be subject to the UK’s immigration system. Employers will need to navigate new visa requirements, which will impact recruitment and retention of staff. Employers should also be aware that EU workers who have already been living in the UK prior to Brexit may be eligible to apply for settled status, which will allow them to remain in the UK permanently.
Another area that has seen change is jurisdictional issues. Prior to Brexit, the EU’s Court of Justice had jurisdiction over many areas of UK employment law. This will no longer be the case, and disputes will now be resolved by UK courts. Employers will need to ensure that their employment contracts and policies reflect this change, and that they are prepared to handle any disputes that may arise.
Finally, the UK government has indicated that it intends to review and potentially amend areas of employment law that were previously governed by EU law. These include areas such as working time regulations and discrimination law. Employers should keep a close eye on these developments and be prepared to make any necessary changes to their employment practices.
In conclusion, Brexit has had significant implications on UK employment law, particularly in the areas of immigration and jurisdiction. While there will be little immediate change to the rights and protections afforded to workers, employers will need to navigate new challenges in areas such as recruitment and dispute resolution. Employers should also be aware of potential changes to employment law in the future, and be prepared to adapt to these changes as they arise.