Here is our “take” on Brexit for employers…
Much of the problematic legislation, over the past decade or two, has originated from Europe. The Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment Regulations (TUPE), can make the most experienced HR professional take breath. And who, among us, has not been confused at some point, by holiday entitlement? Thank you Europe!
Conversely the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations, also originating from Europe, mean many people are alive today who might otherwise have perished in industrial or other employment accidents.
Keep in mind that employment legislation is unlikely to change very soon. European employment legislation is very much enshrined in UK legislation. It will take statutory legislation from Parliament before anything radical is likely to change.
Furthermore, the UK courts are still likely to take some note of decisions in the European Court of Justice or the European Court of Human rights even though those courts lose any authority over the UK. As an example, there are already a few instances where, for guidance, UK Courts have taken note of cases in the USA.
What about those messy regulations: TUPE and Working Time? Whilst these have, by and large, settled down, it is unlikely that anyone will want to re-open those particular cans of worms; but we shall see!
Health and Safety, always the butt of jokes, may wobble a bit but ethically much is now enshrined in our psyche. I doubt anyone wants to return to the attitudes of resignation I experienced in my early career at British Steel. “We don’t make flour” is one quote I remember. That implied serious accidents were inevitable.
On balance I suggest Brexit may be good for employers, foretelling a period of stability. And, as we “take back control” some of the more perplexing aspects of European legislation may be rolled back – calculation of holiday pay being one that springs to mind.
Our legislators might also have innovative ideas of their own.
Expect a period of stability in the short term, followed by new ideas.
On an end note: happiness, as a work related concept is gaining pace. David Cameron was a fan of its measurement and credible evidence for its importance is growing. Control over one’s destiny is a major factor in happiness.
So, perhaps, as “we take back control” employers will be happier after Brexit!
Malcolm Martin FCIPD
Author Human Resource Practice