Brexit and protecting workers’ rights

Following the UK’s projected leave date, two EU directives will come into force. The first to undergo the process will be The Work-Life Balance Directive, which introduces new rights for parents and carers. The second, The Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions Directive, will ensure that terms of employment are set from an individual’s first working day.

The government voted in favour of both directives in the European Council and intends to put the option of adopting them into UK law to parliament.

This commitment to retaining workers’ rights post-Brexit is being marked as a continuation of the Good Work Plan, announced by Clark in December 2018, which aims to provide an upgrade to workers’ rights, including day-one statements setting out entitlements and pay, and ending the legal loophole that allows organisations to pay agency workers less than permanent staff.

The CIPD responded to the Government’s announcement regarding protecting workers’ rights in UK law after Brexit.Ben Willmott, Head of Public Policy for the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development responded that ensuring workers are more aware of their rights, and making businesses more accountable for upholding these rights, will help to create fairer workplaces which benefit everyone.

‘We welcome this commitment from Government to ensure that UK employees benefit from the highest standard of employment rights and protections.’

~ Ben Wilmott Head of Public Policy, CIPD

CIPD research has shown that employers are mostly supportive of the existing workers’ rights framework, recognising that it strikes the right balance between worker protections and business needs for flexibility. It is vital, however, that the existing rights framework isn’t watered down after the UK leaves the European Union.

The CIPD also welcomed the Government’s commitment to work with businesses and on shaping future policy on workers’ rights. However, the challenge isn’t just about introducing new protections. Better, more joined-up enforcement is crucial to upholding workers’ rights, so the CIPD welcomed the proposal to create a single enforcement body to protect vulnerable and agency workers.

The CIPD first published this article on 6 March.  Read the press release here
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