‘A race to the bottom’? Post-Brexit deregulation of workers’ rights – 2
An earlier FT article said that deregulation could lead to several consequences:
- an end of the 48-hour working week,
- a change in the rules around rest breaks and
- the exclusion of overtime when calculating some holiday pay entitlements.
- And removal of the requirement of businesses to log detailed reporting of working hours.
It also pointed out that adopting such measures would lead to the first test of the deal’s level playing field provisions and spark retaliatory action from Brussels.
And jettisoning the Conservative election manifesto promise to support workers’ rights would remove a key part of the Tories’ appeal to voters in traditional Labour seats which helped the party to secure its victory in December 2019.
An opening salvo?
Yesterday Our Birmingham reported that porters at Heartlands Hospital have been threatened with dismissal and offered re-employment on worse conditions.
And Frances O’Grady, General Secretary of the TUC, reminded FT readers today: “During the pandemic, our country has been kept going by an army of vulnerable key workers — such as agency workers — whose limited rights very often stem from EU law.
“Ripping up their rights is no way to reward them”.
The FT expressed the hope that Kwasi Kwarteng, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, will not pursue deregulation for its own sake as proof that Brexit was worth it, ending:
“Not only are the proposals far from what business actually wants, but they also risk setting Britain’s post-Brexit course on a race to the bottom”.