The Working Time Directive gives workers a number of rights including four weeks’ paid holiday per year, rest breaks and rest periods as well as ensuring that employees do not have to work more than 48 hours in a week unless they opt out. The vast majority of these rights are likely to remain protected after the UK leaves the EU, notably owing to both pressure from trade unions and the fact that the UK currently exceeds the minimum rights provided under the Working Time Directive.
However they are all part of the 'level playing field' issues being debated currently which relate to businesses in both the UK and EU maintaining some key regulations (state aid support, workers rights etc) to avoid one having a competitive advantage over the other.
It is likely, however, that the UK will look to change current legislation originating from Europe regarding how annual leave is accrued and also the make up of holiday pay in relation to overtime and commission.
Action: It remains to be seen what is agreed in relation to the ‘level playing field’ issues. Significant changes are unlikely however a review of current policies and paperwork will be needed to ensure that you are fully compliant.
These notes have been prepared for the purpose of an article only. They should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice.