EU Referendum and Employment Law
The UK joined the European Union in 1973 and as a result, some of the employment laws in place which result from this membership include:
The Working Time Regulations 1998: regulates maximum working hours and rest breaks (although the UK has reserved its right to permit employees to opt out of the 48 hour working week).
Data Protection Act 1998: the main piece of legislation that governs the protection of personal data in the UK.
Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) regulations 2006: protects employees’ terms and conditions of employment when a business is transferred from one owner to another.
The Equality Act 2010: a piece of legislation which acts as an umbrella to legislate against all discrimination.
The Agency Workers Regulations 2010: this provides for the equal treatment of agency workers with comparable permanent workers.
Should we stay or should we go?
From a commercial angle, which of course has a knock on effect for workers, UK membership of the EU encourages large company capital investment within the UK. If the UK left the EU, such investment may well fade away which would have a very damaging impact upon businesses and employment across the UK.
Whilst being part of the EU means that sometimes our hands are tied, it does serve as a useful tool to protect trade and employees in the UK- almost like the parent who says, ‘it’s for your own good’. However, has the level of control the EU has over our domestic law become to controlling?