Concerns have been mounting as we head towards March 2019 without clear signs that a deal with the EU can be reached.

The government has taken the step of publishing a series of guidance in the event that a deal cannot be struck. In its ‘Workplace rights if there’s no Brexit deal’ document, the government sets out that there will be no change to employees’ rights and protections. Some minor amendments will need to be made to the language of the legislation to reflect our departure from the EU, but they will not modify policy.

It also highlights that there are no anticipated financial repercussions for businesses operating in the UK in relation to workplace rights.

What is going to happen to European Works Councils?

The government does highlight that UK regulations will need to be modified so that no new requests to create a European Works Council will be accepted and all existing European Works Councils will continue to be in force. It is worth reminding all UK businesses with European Works Councils that these agreements may need to be evaluated. To read the guidance in full, have a look here.

Are we heading for a no deal?

The guidance says as follows: ‘It has always been the case that as we get nearer to March 2019, preparations for a ‘no deal’ scenario would have to be accelerated. Such an acceleration does not reflect an increased likelihood of a ‘no deal’ outcome. Rather it is about ensuring our plans are in place in the unlikely scenario that they need to be relied upon’.

The government continues ‘We expect to negotiate a successful deal with the EU’, so we will have to see how the next few months unfold. We will be keeping a close eye on developments and keep you updated on important events regarding Brexit. 

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