A survey conducted by GQ Employment Law suggests that only five per cent of businesses are looking for major change in employment law post-Brexit – however 65% of employers do want to see some change.
GQ Employment Law says that, as the UK prepares to leave the EU, employers are expressing demand for significant change in only a few areas, such as discrimination law and sick leave.
Key findings of the survey are:
- 5% want to see ‘dramatic’ or ‘substantial’ change in employment laws as a result of the UK leaving the EU; 65% want to see ‘some’ change
- 71% of respondents said they would like rules allowing long-term sick employees to roll over their annual leave to be removed;
- 65% said they would like to see changes to discrimination and equal pay laws. Of those, a 28% minority would like to see a cap on discrimination and equal pay awards;
- 56% would like requirements to pay employees an amount for overtime during holiday to be reversed;
GQ Employment Law comments that Brexit provides an opportunity for the government to work with businesses to ensure that employment laws take into account the needs of UK-based employers as far as possible.
It says that the requirement to roll over annual leave, for example, can often be a burden when calculating pay to employees who have had to take long-term sick leave – with administrative costs sometimes outweighing those associated with actually paying sick pay to employees.
GQ Employment Law explains that another example of where some employers feel employment law could be reviewed is uncapped discrimination and equal pay claims.
Some employers have claimed that some employees have used the threat of uncapped damages, through a discrimination claim, as a way of forcing an employer to settle a claim.
Paul Quain, Partner at GQ Employment Law, says:
“Our survey backs the widely-reported view that business wants stability post-Brexit. While employers see Brexit as an opportunity for a review of EU employment law in some areas, in the main they are not looking for major change.”
“The hope is likely to be that Brexit is seen as an opportunity to improve UK employment laws – making them as efficient, but also as fair, as possible to both employers and employees.”
“Whilst in the grand scheme of things employment law is unlikely to be a key area of focus, it will be interesting to see what changes are, in fact, introduced – and how these are received by the UK’s business community.”
“Our survey suggests that employers accept that many of the employment laws in the UK provide a minimum level of rights for employees so the government would need to approach reforms with caution.”