How Will Brexit Affect Employment Law For EU Members?

 In Business English, Legal English

How Will Brexit Affect Employment Law For EU Members?

Employment law could potentially be one of the largest fields of law in the post Brexit era. That will mean hundreds of legal professionals in Vienna needing to learn and understand legal English.

Under the EU Withdrawal Act, the UK has the right to amend employment laws, which up until 31 December 2020, fell under the influence of EU directives.

Any disputes that arise under employment law or contract law post 31st December 2020 will fall outside EU legislation and into the realm of legal English determined under UK lawmakers.

Whilst it will not be politically acceptable to diverge radically from the existing framework, one issue that has already surfaced recently is how well UK employment laws will be enforced in relation to EU members.

For example, the national minimum wage is expected to remain the same, but has already been at the centre of a major dispute – even whilst UK employment laws were still underpinned by EU directives.

Reports emanating from HMRC recently showed that 13% of UK firms pay employees less than they are legally entitled to – including multi-million-pound companies Tesco and Pizza Hut.

This suggests that some laws are not being sufficiently enforced in the UK. As a consequence, a high number of EU workers may have grounds to bring administrative and judicial proceedings against companies that violate employment laws and social standards.


Legal English in the UK Post-Brexit

According to SHRM, detailed provisions relating to the enforcement of employment laws and contract laws could give rise to “one of the most influential aspects of the agreement on U.K. employment law.”

Whilst the Withdrawal Agreement is designed to protect EU citizens living and working in the UK (together with UK nationals living and working in the EU), there are no agencies in place that ensure the policies are being upheld.

Neither the UK nor the EU will openly dismantle workers’ rights, but a failure to enforce employment laws is tantamount to the neglect of citizens. Moreover, amendments introduced into the English legal system may complicate claims against British companies.


Post-Brexit Employment Laws Being Considered

Major changes to Transfer of Undertaking of Protection (TUPE) Regulations will be too disruptive, but slight amendments could have underhand effects on how much workers are paid in the UK.

Some of the key areas under consideration are:


Work time regulations

This area of law primarily covers statutory holiday pay and sick leave, but following the outcome of the landmark case British Gas v Lock, overtime and commission payments may be taken into account when calculating holiday pay.


Cap on discrimination compensation

Under EU laws, successful cases for discrimination in the workplace are uncapped. British lawmakers are reviewing this and considering a maximum ceiling on compensation.


Agency Workers Regulations

Under EU directives, agency workers are obliged to be given the same rights as employees if they have been continuously employed by the same company for 12 consecutive weeks. This may be amended under employment law in the UK.


Learn Legal English in Vienna

When interpreting retained UK employment law and contract law, legal professionals in Vienna are likely to encounter legal English terms and expressions you will not be familiar with.
Our native English teachers can help. We have years of experience teaching legal English to law professionals in Vienna. Bring your case with you and we will help you to interpret and pronounce legal English correctly.

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