Editor's message: In response to the Brexit vote, Prime Minister Theresa May triggered art.50 of the Treaty on European Union on 29 March 2017, giving notice of the UK's intention to withdraw from the EU. Negotiations between the Government and the EU, on the terms of the UK's withdrawal, began in June 2017. Agreement has been reached at the negotiators' level and signed off by the other EU member states, but the draft withdrawal agreement has not been approved by the UK Parliament.
The exit date of 29 March 2019 is set by the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, which received Royal Assent on 26 June 2018. The Act provides for the repeal of the European Communities Act 1972, which brought the UK into the EU and gives EU law supremacy over UK law. EU law will be converted into UK law when the UK leaves the EU. This means that current workers' rights under EU law, such as working time rights, will remain in effect after Brexit, but will become subject to Parliament's control over domestic law.
The European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 also confirms that, from exit day, UK courts will no longer be bound by new decisions of the European Court of Justice, although decisions made before exit day will continue to be binding on UK courts. The final court of appeal will be the UK Supreme Court. The jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights is, however, unaffected by Brexit.
One of the issues of particular interest to many organisations is the impact of Brexit on their European workforce in the UK. The UK Government and the EU negotiators have reached an agreement on citizens' rights, under which EU citizens who arrive in the UK by 31 December 2020, the end of the transition period, will be entitled to apply for "settled status" when they have five years' continuous residence in the UK. This will give them the right to stay indefinitely.
In the event of a "no-deal" Brexit, the Government's position is that the transition period for EU citizens in the UK would not apply, so only EU citizens who are resident in the UK by 29 March 2019 would be eligible to apply under the settlement scheme. The position for UK citizens in the EU if there is no deal is unclear.
Susie Munro, senior employment law editor
The political to and fro of Brexit can be distracting for employers, but there are preparations they can make now to support EU nationals in their workforce, says Jackie Penlington.
We review the key employment law developments of 2018 and the impact of these for HR, including: Brexit; the GDPR; the apprenticeship levy; pay reporting; parental bereavement leave; and family-friendly policies.
Hiring intentions will rise to their highest level for 18 months in the first quarter of 2019, as employers seek to fix their "leaking bucket" ahead of Brexit.
Updated to refer to the Government's White Paper on the skills-based immigration regime that will apply after Brexit.
Wages could drop by an average of 10% in the event of a no-deal Brexit, though workers will lose out in every scenario, new government analysis has revealed.
While Theresa May was yesterday making her statement to the House of Commons chamber on the Brexit withdrawal agreement, health sector representatives were hearing a message of sobering potency in a neighbouring side room.
MPs have urged the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to ensure it has the skills needed for diplomacy after Brexit, by hiring and retaining the "best" staff and ensuring pay is competitive with other government departments.
With all the political chaos surrounding the proposed Brexit deal, it's hardly surprising that organisations feel confused about how to build their workforce strategies from 2019 onwards.
The draft Brexit agreement - delivered last night by prime minister Theresa May - has confirmed that EU nationals can continue to live and work in the UK after the 29 March 2019.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to Brexit.