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In the latest in our series of articles on the impact of a potential Brexit for employers, Felicity Gemson and Karen Birch of Allen & Overy consider what might happen to employment law in the UK during the transition period.
It is easy to think of European laws and judgments that have turned life upside down for the HR world over the years, transforming workplace policies and practices in areas such as working time, discrimination avoidance and redundancy process.
So if the UK votes to leave the EU on 23 June 2016, will we lose this dimension to our employment law and, if so, how soon?
There has been much speculation as to how the Government might change domestic employment legislation but the EU law position is clear, at least in the short term.
The short term: business as usual
After the UK has given its formal notice, there will be a negotiation process for up to two years to agree its exit terms and future relationship with the EU.
The UK will leave the EU at the two-year point but could do so sooner (if an earlier deal is reached) or later (if negotiations are extended).
During this transition period, it is “business as usual”. EU legislation and European Court (ECJ) judgments will continue to apply up to the moment we leave, unless otherwise agreed. And EU nationals will continue to enjoy their free movement rights around the EU.
Will there be EU measures that crystallise in this period that could impact on the HR agenda? Yes, there will.