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Businesses do not want major changes post-Brexit

Just one in 20 want to see ‘dramatic’ or ‘substantial’ change in employment laws as a result of the UK leaving the EU

UK businesses do not want to see a major change in UK law following Brexit, according to research from GQ Employment Law.

The survey of 43 UK firms found that just one in 20 (5%) want to see ‘dramatic’ or ‘substantial’ change in employment laws as a result of the UK leaving the EU. A third (30%) wanted to see no changes, and 65% said they hoped to see ‘some’ change.

When it came to which laws should be changed, seven in 10 (71%) said they would like rules allowing long-term sick employees to roll over their annual leave to be removed, making this the most popular candidate for change. Nearly two-thirds (65%) said they would like to see changes to discrimination and equal pay laws. Of those, 28% said that they would like to see a cap on discrimination and equal pay case awards.

More than half (56%) suggested changes should be made to requirements to pay employees an amount for overtime during holiday, potentially as far as reversing this decision.

Paul Quain, partner at GQ Employment Law, said that the results of the survey add weight to the belief that businesses want 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,” he said. “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.”

He added that while employment law is unlikely to be a key area of focus it will be interesting to see what changes are introduced and how they will be received by the UK’s business community.

“Our survey suggests that employers accept 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,” he said.