Employment law implications of Britain leaving the EU

Merrill April

By Merrill April, member of the GGI Labour Law Practice Group

With the EU Referendum just a few weeks away, a YouGov survey has claimed that the British public are split down the middle – 40% of voters were planning on voting to leave, and 42% to remain a part of the EU.

With the prospect of ‘Brexit’ still significant at this stage, Memery Crystal’s head of employment Merrill April held a webinar for GGI’s labour law practice group on the employment law implications of Britain leaving the EU, both for the United Kingdom and for the rest of Europe. Below, we outline some of the main points from the discussion:

  • Currently, UK employment law is a combination of domestic legislation pre-dating membership in the EU, and European law enforced and upheld by the British courts. Judgments from the ECJ influence the interpretation of EU-derived UK law and have strongly influenced the direction of UK law as a result.
    • Should the UK vote to leave the EU, this would serve as a 2-year notice of our exit. This is intended to create a smooth transition.
  • Some of the significant regulations that could be affected include:
    • Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 1981 (“TUPE”)
    • Discrimination Legislation
    • Working Time Regulations
    • Collective Consultation Rules
    • Agency Workers
    • Aspects of Health and Safety Law
  • Given that the UK has adopted and integrated the majority of EU employment law into its own domestic law, it is unlikely that there will be significant changes if the Leave campaign is successful.
  • However, if the UK does become independent, there is no guarantee it will continue to match EU regulations, so if the government assumed a deregulatory agenda this could have significant impact on social employment rights.


GGI member firm

Memery Crystal

Law Firm

London, UK

Merrill April

E: mapril@memerycrystal.com

W: www.memerycrystal.com


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