The impact of Brexit on UK labour law

Michael D Ford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

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The recent vote by the UK electorate to leave the European Union (EU), known as Brexit, has potentially enormous implications for employment rights in the UK, most of which are now underpinned by EU law. At present the vote has no legal effect but if Brexit happens all these rights are legally vulnerable. The article examines how workers’ rights informed the debates surrounding Brexit, the history of the UK’s attitude to EU employment rights, and how the employment rights and remedies guaranteed by EU law currently affect UK labour law and policy. It analyses the legal mechanism likely to be adopted by the UK to change EU-guaranteed employment rights post-Brexit, and highlights some of the factors likely to contribute to the future form of UK labour law, including UK government policy, the effect of employment tribunal fees, the trading relationship between the EU and the UK, and the position of the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)473-496
Number of pages25
JournalInternational Journal of Comparative Labour Law
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2016


  • Brexit
  • European Union
  • referendum
  • UK
  • employment law


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