Leaving the EU would leave a future Tory government free to strip away important protections for workers and the environment underpinned by EU law.
The rights at work on the ballot paper in this referendum include:
- A minimum of four weeks paid holiday, plus public holidays
- The right to equal pay for women is underpinned by EU law
- Protections against sex discrimination at work where EU law also underpins UK law
- Rights to maternity and paternity leave
- Equal treatment for part-time workers
- No discrimination against fixed term workers
- Equal treatment for agency workers after six months
- An individual right to limit the working week to a maximum of 48 hours
- Protection for workers facing outsourcing, privatisation, and changes of employer
- Comprehensive protection on health and safety in the workplace
Many of those campaigning to leave the EU want to scrap and undermine workers’ rights. Last month Tory Employment Minister and Leave campaigner Priti Patel called for EU social protections and workers’ rights to be cut in the event of a vote to leave the EU.
“If we could just halve the burdens of the EU social and employment legislation we could deliver a £4.3bn boost to our economy and 60,000 new jobs.”
Priti Patel, speech to IoD, 18 May 2015
In 2012 Boris Johnson said the UK should “scrap the social chapter”, while last year he said the Tory Government should “weigh in” on “all that social chapter stuff”. Boris Johnson has also claimed that the weight of employment regulation is “backbreaking”.