25 February 2016
The TUC has published a report today (Thursday) that sets out which workers’ rights in the UK are underpinned by EU rules – and would therefore be at risk if the UK votes to leave the EU.
UK Employment Rights and the EU provides a comprehensive assessment of the employment rights that derive from the UK’s membership of the European Union. And it considers the threat to these rights in the case of the UK voting to leave the EU.
These rights, which include paid annual leave, time off for antenatal appointments and fair treatment for part-time workers, are used every day by millions of workers. But if the UK votes to leave the EU, no-one can say what will happen to these rights.
Decisions on which rights to keep – and which to amend or drop altogether – would be left to the government as they reviewed all UK laws linked to the EU. And any changes could let employers cut the benefits and protections that UK workers currently have.
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:
“Working people have a huge stake in the referendum because workers’ rights are on the line. It’s the EU that guarantees workers their rights to paid holidays, parental leave, equal treatment for part-timers, and much more.
“These rights can’t be taken for granted. There are no guarantees that any government will keep them if the UK leaves the EU. And without the back-up of EU laws, unscrupulous employers will have free rein to cut many of their workers’ hard-won benefits and protections.
“The current government has already shown their appetite to attack workers’ rights. Unions in Britain campaigned for these rights and we don’t want them put in jeopardy. The question for everyone who works for a living is this: can you risk a leap into the unknown on workplace rights?”
NOTES TO EDITORS:
- The EU-derived rights outlined in the report include:
- Millions of workers have benefited from the EU-derived workplace rights covered in the report. Examples include:
- The government has sought to diminish workers’ rights. For example, in 2012 the qualifying period for unfair dismissal rights was increased from one to two years, along with new caps on compensation. And in 2013, much higher fees were imposed on workers seeking to enforce their rights at employment tribunals.
- All TUC press releases can be found at www.tuc.org.uk
- Follow the TUC on Twitter: @The_TUC and follow the TUC press team @tucnews
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