Brexit – the story for employers so far

The UK electorate voted to leave the European Union in a referendum on 23 June 2016. The legal process for exiting the EU began when the UK notified of its intention to withdraw under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty on 29 March 2017. The UK and the EU had two years to decide on the terms of the withdrawal, particularly the extent of the UK’s access to the single market versus the degree to which EU workers retain freedom of movement to the UK.

On 21 March 2019, eight days before the scheduled departure date, the EU offered to delay Brexit until 22 May if MPs approve the deal that has been negotiated. If they could not, a no-deal Brexit would happen on 12 April.

On 11 April, the EU allowed a “flexible extension” to 31 October 2019. Boris Johnson, who took over as prime minister in July, had vowed to leave the EU by that date “do or die”, having negotiated a new deal with the EU. However on 28 October 2019, the EU agreed to extend Brexit again, this time to 31 January 2020.

Our Brexit pages provide news and guidance on all aspects of the UK’s exit from the EU.


Brexit HR implications: How to prepare (webinar)

4 Jul 2016

ON DEMAND | What does Britain’s vote to leave the EU mean for HR? The precise terms of Britain's exit from the European Union are yet to be decided, but there are practical steps that employers can take to prepare for running a business outside the EU.

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Fewer migrant workers to mean greater automation, argues thinktank

4 Jul 2016

Industries that rely heavily on EU migrant labour could be prime candidates for automation, a report by thinktank the Resolution...

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How does Brexit affect international assignments?

1 Jul 2016

The process for the UK leaving the EU is yet to be set in motion, but employers should start thinking...

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Brexit vote will cause widespread hiring freeze, says IoD

27 Jun 2016

A quarter of companies will impose a hiring freeze after the UK’s decision to leave the EU, a snap poll...

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Employers face “years of uncertainty” after Brexit vote

24 Jun 2016

Employers are reacting to today’s news that the majority of UK voters have opted for the country to leave the...

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EU referendum: no excuse to put off data protection preparations

7 Jun 2016

Don’t wait until after the EU referendum to start preparing for the new EU data protection regulations, advises lawyer Sarah...

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Would free movement be limited? Photo: Shutterstock/gopixa

Brexit: nine in 10 EU workers might not qualify for a visa

27 May 2016

Almost nine in 10 EU workers employed in the UK may no longer qualify for a visa under current rules...

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Nigel Farage campaigning for Brexit last week. Photo: Geoff Moore/REX/Shutterstock

EU immigrants fear discrimination amid Brexit debate

23 May 2016

Europeans working in the UK fear the impact of a Brexit vote according to research released today, one month ahead...

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If there is a vote to leave, what happens to upcoming EU legal decisions?

23 May 2016

In the latest in our series of articles on the impact of a potential Brexit for employers, Felicity Gemson and...

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Brexit: Would the Government’s grip on trade unions get tighter?

20 May 2016

Will an exit from the EU empower the Government to reduce the rights of trade unions and the right to...

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What would happen to TUPE if the UK left Europe?

3 May 2016

As part of our series of articles looking at the impact of a potential Brexit on employers and their legal...

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EU referendum: how to get ready for a potential Brexit

29 Apr 2016

As the debate hots up over the UK referendum on leaving or staying in the EU, what steps should UK...

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UK EU flag

EU referendum: 12 European cases that have shaped UK employment law

31 Mar 2016

The “Brexit” referendum on whether or not the UK should withdraw from the European Union takes place on 23 June...

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British exit from EU

Would a British exit from the EU cut employment red tape?

1 Jul 2015

The Conservative victory in the general election means that there will be a referendum on a British exit from the...

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Queen’s Speech: consultation on Bill of Rights and “a job for everyone”

27 May 2015

Today’s Queen’s Speech from the first majority Conservative government since John Major was in power proposed a number of new...

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