Leave or Remain? The Brunt of Brexit Employment Law

On 20th of February, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom declared June 23, 2016, as the date when British Exit from the European Union (dubbed as Brexit) will be decided through a referendum. Everyone has been busy discussing the exit and picking their sides by either supporting “vote leave” or “Britain Stronger in Europe“. The most neglected aspect of the matter is Brexit employment law and how Brexit impacts jobs in the United Kingdom.

A noteworthy proportion of UK’s employment law is influenced by its EU membership. However, if UK is no more willing to be a part of EU, it needs to frame its Brexit employment law and Brexit immigration law to decide the fate of workers in the UK.


Some of the UK’s employment law including National Minimum Wage and law related to (unfair) dismissal are already regulated by the UK legislation. Yet, if the referendum receives a majority of “leave” votes, UK would require re-framing all the laws including family-friendly rights, unlawful discrimination, collective redundancy consultation, and working time, which comes from the European Union.

How Brexit will impact the employment law of UK will depend on how it would be implemented and what should be done in case any other agreements are established as a substitute. If UK decides to join EEA and follow Norwegian model, it will still be influenced by European employment law.


The most sensitive part of the whole “in or out of EU” is how it will affect immigration. Since years, UK has attracted migrants from different parts of the world, who have helped it in raising its economy. As UK was an EU member, EU citizens were allowed to work anywhere within EU borders. But if UK exits the EU, the major question is how will UK authorities maintain the balance in net migration? The number of residency applications to live and work in the UK is increasing day by day even when there is a chance that it will leave the European Union. If the immigration law is updated, it will highly impact UK’s businesses and their HR policies.

Even if the referendum declares to leave, it will take almost two years for UK to leave EU. During the negotiation period of two years, EU laws will still apply in the UK. Even if there is a Brexit, UK is more likely to take a piecemeal approach, making minor modifications to EU employment law.

Anna Verasai
Anna Versai is a Team Writer at The HR Digest; she covers topics related to Recruitment, Workplace Culture, Interview Tips, Employee Benefits, HR News and HR Leadership. She also writes for Technowize, providing her views on the Upcoming Technology, Product Reviews, and the latest apps and softwares.

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