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Are there any employment law implications should the outcome of the referendum be to leave the EU? The short answer is not really - at least not in the short term.

A lot of the UK’s employment law comes from the EU, with the more notable bits including:

  • Discrimination rules
  • Collective consultation obligations on redundancy
  • TUPE (everyone’s favourite)
  • The Working Time Regulations

The majority of employment rights are generally considered a good thing and it is difficult to see how there would be much political support if a government suddenly decided (for example) to scrap the rules against discriminating on the grounds of sexual orientation, religion or race.

It is, of course, possible that a future government might seek to tinker with the legislation around the edges, by imposing limits on the amount of compensation, increasing tribunal fees or by allowing costs to be awarded.

However, it is entirely possible that even if we were to exit the EU, the price of any future trade agreements would include a certain amount of workforce regulation and the free labour movement.

It has been reported that a number of city law firms have set up ‘war rooms’ to be able to advise clients on the effects of an ‘out‘ vote. It’s difficult to see how that advice could be anything more than – let's wait and see.

This is intended for general information only and should not be considered as giving advice in relation to any individual case nor be taken as applying to any particular case. No liability is accepted for any such use of the information contained.


Standout firm known for its personal insolvency work for clients including private companies, individuals and governmental institutions. Frequently acts for insolvency practitioners, assisting with the realisation of assets, both in the UK and abroad.

Chambers and Partners

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