Majority of employers want workers’ rights stripped back after Brexit, research suggests

Almost two thirds of employers would like to strip back discrimination and equal pay laws after Brexit, new research suggests.

A survey of 43 employers by GQ Employment Law found also found that 71 percent said they would like to scrap EU laws that allow employees on long-term sick to roll over their annual leave, while 28 percent said they want to see a cap on the amount that can be awarded during discrimination and equal pay tribunals.

Fifteen percent of the employers asked said they want the scope of EU equal pay and discrimination laws to be narrowed and 13 percent said they want a qualifying period for claims under those laws to be introduced.

Fifty-six percent want to roll back EU rules for calculating holiday pay based on an employee’s salary when commissions and overtime are taken into account, rather than just their basic wage.

Prime minister Theresa May has said that all existing employment rights deriving from the EU, including such measures as the working time directive, will be transferred over to UK law with the government retaining the right to modify at some later stage.

However, Unite general secretary, Len McCluskey said that the ‘modification’ threat is causing serious concern among the union’s members, particularly as comments from leading Tory figures, such as Liam Fox, also reveal a wish to see rights reduced.

“Sadly, there are too many on the Conservative benches who see Brexit as their moment to destroy employment rights for unions to simply accept the prime minister’s word that the status quo will endure,” said McCluskey.

They will waste no time in destroying vital laws like the working time directive, a measure that is not red tape but essential protection for workers and the public alike. Our roads are safer, for example, because under EU law lorry drivers must rest.

“UK workers are already the cheapest and easiest to sack in Europe, a shameful state of affairs for an advanced economy. To this, the Government must not add that UK workers are the easiest to exploit.”

Brexit briefing: Weekly news roundup

16 February 2018

Unite Brexit Check’s weekly news briefing on the UK’s exit from the EU. Check back every Friday for an overview of the week’s Brexit-related political, industrial...