Post Brexit... The new Employment rules

16 December 2020

As the clock ticks down towards the end of the transition period on 31st December 2020, the question at the forefront of most employers’ minds will be ‘what does this mean for my business and my employees?’.

The simple answer to this, in the short term, not much will change from an employment law perspective. Much of the existing rights which employees have under EU law will continue to remain within British employment law for a while.

Immigration’s an area which will have the most impact on how employers recruit employees. The ability for EU citizens living in the UK to gain a settled or pre-settled status, opened in March 2019 and individuals living in the UK by 31st December 2020 will have the opportunity to apply for settled status or pre-settled status by 30th June 2021. Click here to read more on what you need to consider as a business if you employ EU nationals.

However, in the event of a no-deal Brexit, the application deadline’s 31st December 2020, so it’s important for individuals to act now! Businesses are encouraged to have conversations with employees required to apply for settled status, to check if they’ve applied and are aware of what’s required of them.

When the free movement of EU workers ends, there will be a new system which applicants (both EU and non-EU) will need to go through, to secure a job in the UK, this includes having the following:

  • A job offer from an approved sponsor at the required skill level.
  • Evidence they can speak English.
  • 70 points or more, from the points-based system (further information on this system can be found through the government website).

To ensure businesses are employing applicants who have the right to work in the UK, they should continue to follow the guidance on undertaking right to work checks. Should they wish to employ outside the UK, then businesses will need to apply for a sponsor’s licence as soon as possible.

Whilst longer term changes to employment law are yet to be confirmed, it’s likely that changes will be made to:

  • The Working Time Regulations 1998 (and rules around calculation of holiday pay).
  • The Agency Workers Regulations 2010, which have faced criticism for imposing unnecessary burdens on businesses.
  • TUPE, possibly to make it easier for employers to harmonise terms and conditions following a transfer of a business; and
  • Imposing a cap on discrimination compensation.



The environment we live in’s changing, so it’s now more important than ever for business leaders to plan ahead and continue to adapt their approach as we learn more about the true impact of Brexit in the coming weeks and months.

If you’d like HR advice to help you plan for any eventuality, please contact our HR team on 01604 273782.