What would Brexit mean for employees’ leave allowances?

‘Rachel Suff

Policy adviser for employment relations and diversity at CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development).

Rights relating to annual holiday entitlement and aspects of maternity and paternity provision are two areas where Brussels has directly influenced the UK legal framework. The Working Time Directive gave UK workers the statutory right to paid annual holiday for the first time. It specified at least 20 days of paid annual holiday, but in the UK this has risen to 28 days including bank holidays for full-time workers. The contentious aspect of that directive – limiting a worker’s working week to 48 hours – is subject to an opt-out by workers in the UK.

Sebastian Dullien

Senior policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations and professor of international economics at HTW Berlin, University of Applied Sciences.

Nowadays, EU provisions for minimum holiday allowances and maternity and paternity rules have been adapted into British law. Once Britain leaves the EU, these minimum standards are not binding any more and the British government could cut holiday allowance and maternity and paternity leave below the minimum European standards again. Whether it would do so, however, would remain a domestic political question.

Philip Landau

Founder member of Landau Law, specialist London-based employment law solicitor firm.

Although the rules emanated from the EU, it would be politically unthinkable for the government to reduce these allowances.’ - Guardian


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