On 7 September 2017 the government published a factsheet on the impact of the Repeal Bill, which was recently passed by a majority of MPs, and the future status of workers’ rights following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.
The factsheet details the government’s commitment to ensuring that the employment rights and protections currently provided to workers in the UK under EU law will continue to be available to those individuals after Brexit. This means that certain employment rights which are derived from EU legislation (such as the Working Time Directive and the Agency Workers’ Directive) will be maintained, for now. The factsheet confirms that rights and protections afforded under any EU treaties or which have been created as a result of any European Court of Justice decision will also be captured by the Bill and will continue to be available in the UK following Brexit. The protections offered under the Equality Act 2006, the Equality Act 2010 and the equivalent legislation in Northern Ireland will also continue to apply following withdrawal.
The government believes that the Bill is necessary to ensure a smoother transition of EU legislation into domestic legislation. It also hopes that the continuation of workers’ rights under EU law will provide maximum certainty and continuity for both employers and employees in the UK at what is, currently, a fairly uncertain time.