In a new report published today (11 September 2016), the UK’s largest employment law and trade union specialists, Thompsons, argue that rushing to trigger Article 50 without a clear strategy puts vital employment rights and health and safety legislation under threat.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Theresa May met with European Council president Donald Tusk who urged the UK to “start the [Brexit] process as soon as possible”.

However, in its review of “The Impact of Brexit on UK Employment Law Rights and Health and Safety Legislation”, Thompsons urges the UK Government not to cave to political pressures – foreign or domestic – and prematurely show its hand on when it will trigger Article 50.

“Leaving the EU has profound consequences for workers in the UK. Many rights at work are underpinned by EU law. Equality, health & safety, paid holidays, protection on redundancies and changes of employer.

“It is no good the Prime Minister simply repeating "Brexit means Brexit". That is meaningless to the British workers whose rights are under threat. The government must commit to including the trade union and labour movement in discussions on the terms for leaving the EU, and must guarantee that the rights of UK workers will not be diluted. Why should workers in the UK be worse off than everywhere else in Europe?

“As our paper sets out, there are valuable legal rights that must be protected and preserved. Article 50 should not be triggered until rights at work are guaranteed. We agree with the TUC's five tests which must be satisfied before the UK leaves the EU.

“The platitudes from the government are not enough. Working people in Britain need concrete assurances that their rights will not be chucked into the Channel.”

Thompsons Solicitors was responsible for a number of landmark cases which enshrined vital protections for workers into UK law, including TUPE/Acquired Rights Directive and Working Time, establishing equal pay for work of equal value and working with the Labour party to pave the way for the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Thompsons is a proud partner to the UK’s major trade unions and is committed to working with them to level-up workplace safety standards and protect employment rights.

A full copy of the report can be found here.