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Workers' rights at risk unless UK and EU reach agreement

A recently published report from the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) suggests workers’ rights could be at risk post-Brexit without enhanced protections.

In the UK, there is a public consensus about protecting EU-derived employment rights following Brexit, and the government wants to agree on employment provisions as part of its broader plans for an ambitious UK-EU relationship.

In the EU, however, there are fears that without common minimum standards the UK will be tempted to deregulate its employment legislation to gain a competitive advantage over EU member states.

Key challenges

While the broad principle of protecting workers’ rights is straightforward to grasp, there is a range of complex issues in translating this principle into a meaningful agreement.

The three key challenges outlined in the report are:

  • The scope of the ‘level playing field’;
  • The procedures for governing the ‘level playing field’; and,
  • Whether there are any mechanisms in place for updating the agreement over time as EU employment legislation evolves.

Report findings

The report, named 'A Level Playing Field for Workers',  found that the best protection would be secured through a ‘common rulebook’ approach. The most robust governance mechanisms would be guaranteed through a supranational court and supranational supervision authority, which would allow for individual
workers to make complaints and thereby help them to enforce their rights.

The ‘common rulebook’ would allow the agreement to be updated over time to reflect new EU-derived employment legislation. Combined, this package of scope, governance and updating arrangements would help to secure the most robust and sustainable ‘level playing field’ on employment protections between the UK and the EU.

Contact our Employment Law Solicitors London

If you have any concerns about your employment rights, contact our specialist employment lawyers today for professional and understanding legal advice.

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