Brexit and the Bursar: a guide for the independent school as employer
What are the likely effects of a Brexit on those UK employment laws of most relevance to the independent school sector?
The EU referendum will take place in five weeks' time. Speculation about the realities of a "Brexit" has been circulating for months. Given that much employment law comes from EU directives which have been passed into UK law, how might schools as employers be affected?
If we leave the EU (which would only take place after a two year notice period), domestic law derived from EU law could in theory be repealed. However, a gradual approach to modifying EU-derived legislation is more likely than whole-scale change, as any sudden removal of rights could be unsettling to the economy and to voters.
Which employment right derived from Europe?
Independent schools may find that staff have broadly similar rights whether the choice next month is "in" or "out". A number of employment protections are home-grown, for example shared parental leave and the right to request flexible working. The UK has also in some cases introduced provisions which are more protective of employees than EU law requires, for example in its family leave and TUPE provisions.
Citizens of the EU will lose their automatic right to live, work and study here. It is possible that interim arrangements will allow for people to stay here temporarily. A points-based immigration system may rank EU citizens alongside those from outside the EU when applying for work and study places.
The changes which employers see on a Brexit will to a large extent be affected by any EU trade deal to which the UK signs up. It is possible that agreeing to the principle of free movement of people and the EU's social and employment regulations would be part of any deal allowing the UK access to the EU marketplace.
After Brexit: what might change?
Commentators have suggested that we might see:
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The information in this article is necessarily of a general nature. Specific advice should be sought for specific situations. If you have any queries or need any legal advice please feel free to contact Wrigleys Solicitors