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3/8/16

Britain: Why Brexit Would Be Bad For Employment Rights

Imagine a country in which there is no statutory right to paid holiday, no legal limit on the number of hours employees can be required to work, no right to a daily rest period, no laws to prevent employers discriminating against workers who are disabled or who have particular religious beliefs, and no right for employees to take time off work to look after a sick child.

This was the UK before the New Labour government was elected in 1997. Since then a substantial number of employment rights have been introduced – most of which have their roots in EU legislation.

Thanks to the EU, employers cannot treat part-time workers less favourably than full-time workers, working parents have a right to take leave to look after their children, and temporary agency workers and workers with fixed-term contracts are entitled to the same basic conditions as comparable workers with permanent contracts.

Employees also have rights to paid holiday and rest periods, as well as the right to be informed and consulted about matters that directly concern them at work. Employers, meanwhile, are forbidden from discriminating against their employees on grounds of religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation.

There’s strong reason to believe that many of these rights would be lost should Britain leave the EU.

Read more:n Britain: Why Brexit Would Be Bad For Employment Rights

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