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Posted on 24 June 2021

Brexit is not expected to have any significant implications for UK employment law. The UK Government has committed to avoiding a "race to the bottom" with regard to employment rights, and from this first six months of the post-Brexit period there is no indication that any changes are imminent (the UK Government recently u-turned on its review of employment rights).

However, much of UK employment law is derived from EU law, and therefore Brexit does present the possibility of future divergence. For those in the retail sector, the following areas will certainly be worth watching:

  • Discrimination: Like much of society, retail continues to grapple with creating an equal, diverse and fair environment for those who work within it. Some commentators have suggested that Brexit may prompt an increase in protection for minority groups who are currently not protected (for example, those from a disadvantaged socio-economic background). Trans-rights may also be bolstered. Further, the UK Government could decide to allow positive discrimination in favour of under-represented groups in a way not currently permissible under EU law.
  • Agency Workers: In places, the retail sector relies heavily on agency workers (for example, seasonal busy periods are often covered by agency temp workers. The Agency Workers Regulations 2010 (which derive from EU law) are complex and unpopular. Not yet fully embedded in UK law, they might be seen as a possible candidate for complete revocation.

Our Brexit hub contains more guidance on the potential implications for employment rights.

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