Neil Andrews - Partner, Coles Miller

EU Referendum Vote: What It Means For Employment And Family Law24th Jun 2016

by Neil Andrews on 24th Jun 2016

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And so the die is cast. The deed is done.

Britain’s shell-shocked establishment is struggling to come to terms with the leave vote…and the magnitude of its impending consequences. Employment law solicitor Neil Andrews, a partner at Coles Miller, Poole

Some may think that – in these historic times – a few EU rules about employment and divorce pale into insignificance. 

Admittedly they were unlikely to be priority number one in voters’ minds as they approached the ballot box.

But they still matter.

So what will happen? Very little initially – but that is no reason for complacency.

All the EU directives adopted into UK law will remain (unless the government embarks on parliamentary proceedings to repeal them). 

Enshrined in UK law is the EU’s TUPE protection for employees when their company is transferred to a new employer. Britain gold-plated these rules when introducing them in 2006. But change is always possible.

Watch this space with regard to compensation for discrimination. At present it is unlimited. It cannot be capped under EU law. But employers would love to change that!

Also, Britain’s 20 or more redundancy collective consultation laws (which emanate from an EU directive) may be diluted in due course. They too were never popular with employers.

Britain’s Working Time Regulations (another gold-plating of EU law) would probably remain but some aspects may be reviewed – not least the much-ignored 48-hour working week.

Also in the crosshairs could be the Agency Worker Regulations. These give temps the same terms and benefits as their permanent colleagues after 12 weeks. Again, not popular with employers.

But what of the leave vote’s impact on family law? It is too early to say what Brexit would mean for EU measures such as Brussels IIa, which provides uniform jurisdictional rules for divorce proceedings.

Or what it will mean for EU-regulated maintenance arrangements.

Little is likely to change anytime soon in the world of family law because the government has more pressing concerns.

Any EU-inspired family law reforms it had been planning will almost certainly be put on ice.

However, all the economic consequences associated with the leave vote could have a wider impact on pensions, investments and house values – all of which must be considered in a divorce.

These are uncertain times. For calm, collected and pragmatic legal advice, get in touch with our expert solicitors.

Coles Miller Partner Neil Andrews is the head of the firm’s Commercial Department. He specialises in employment law and commercial litigation. Contact him on 01202 355695.

Associate Solicitor and Mediator Richard Perrins leads our Family Law Department. His specialisms include surrogacy and fertility law. Contact him on 01202 355698.

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