What happens to employment law in the event of a No Deal Brexit?

With no emergence of an EU/UK deal, as matters currently stand we are still committed to leaving the EU on 31 October, deal or no deal.  Here is our overview of the possible employment law implications if there is a no deal Brexit.

Short Term – the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018 will convert all EU employment law into UK law.  So in the short term, nothing changes.  Existing decisions of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) remain binding on all UK courts and tribunals, with the exception of the Supreme Court.

Medium Term-  New ECJ decisions will not be binding in the UK but UK courts and tribunals are likely to respect most ECJ rulings so long as UK and EU legislation remain in line.  The UK will not be required to adopt any new EU directives, including the Work Life Balance and Whistleblower Directive.  That said, the UK is one of the few EU countries that already has protection for whistleblowers and we already provide some of the rights set out in the Work-Life Balance Directive.

Longer Term- The extent to which we depart from EU law in the future depends largely on the type of government we have.  Boris Johnson has indicated that he would dismantle some of the laws derived from the Working Time Directive, which place limits on working time and provide for annual paid holiday.   On the other hand, Labour has promised the biggest ever extension of employment rights in the UK if it gains power and is likely to enhance rather than scrap any rights already in place.  It is worth remembering that in many areas, including that of equality, the UK goes further than EU minimum requirements.