Brexit would lead to a shake up of working time rules, according to one QC

Mark Sands
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Would a Brexit vote mean workers get hit by reforms to working time rules? (Source: Getty)

A Brexit vote would lead to "predictable" changes to the rights of workers, according to a QC, who argues that reforms to working time rules may be the first in line.

In an analysis published by the TUC, Ford wrote that following separation from the EU, the UK government would have “pretty much unconstrained freedom” in relation to workers rights, and said that the working time directive, which lays out rights to daily and weekly rest, limits on maximum weekly working time, paid annual leave of at least four weeks, and measures to protect night workers, would be a likely target.

“I do not share the view of some that the provisions of [Working Time Regulations] enjoy a political consensus,” Ford wrote.

“At the very least I think a deregulatory-minded government would make radical changes to the rules by which some time ‘on call’ counts as working time, to the rules limiting the maximum weekly hours, and to the level of pay and wide reach of the right to annual leave.”

It comes as the TUC also warns that Brexit would result in workers wages being £38 per week worse off by 2030.

Launching the TUC analysis today, general secretary Frances O'Grady will say: “The EU underpins rights that not only make our working lives better, they make our lives better full stop.

“Pregnant women have the right to paid time off for medical appointments. Parents have the right to time off to look after a child who’s ill. Part-time and agency workers get equal treatment to give them decency and dignity rather than insecurity.

“Brexit would put all of these rights and more at risk.”

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