So we voted Brexit- what will be the impact of the fashion industry and the UK employment law?
Obviously, Brexit will significantly influence the UK fashion industry for the future.
There are prospective changes to the EU which as a consequence will mean changes to employment laws and ultimately business decisions. Consequently, Brexit shall have a significant impact on the fashion industry in the U.K.
Many employers in the fashion industry appreciate the unique multicultural state of the UK fashion industry. Thereby enjoying the diversity in cultures that promote creativity and innovation. Therefore such employers wish to ensure a post-Brexit UK will permit them to continue seeking pan-European talent across Europe.
As we know Theresa May (the current Prime Minister) anticipates invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty by the end of this month.
As a result it is suggested that employers in the fashion industry should take certain steps in anticipation of the terms of Brexit being finalised.
These include to:-
1. Consider your current workforce’s immigration status- and try to get prepared for any contingencies once the Article 50 is invoked.
2. Keep abreast of free movement issues. It has been said that there is a reduction in retail business and travel frequency where airlines need to charge higher fares and new ‘air service agreements’ need to be discussed.
3. Ensure no existing immigration rules are breached and that you are fully compliant.
4. Consider where your fashion buyers and other staff have regular overseas travel – ensure that you are compliant with time limits for business visitors.
Britain has enjoyed sending British employees to Europe but in anticipation of the implementation of Article 50 there is a lot of uncertainty and volatility.
Many of employment protection emanates from Europe reflecting good employee relation practices. For instance the rights of employers not to discriminate against staff on the grounds of protected characteristics for example race, gender and age.
Further some fundamental laws of the EU merely supplement rights which are already embodied in the UK law, before the EU chose to legislate, for example UK Equal Pay Rights or Disability Discrimination.
UK employment laws are by origin domestic, for example shared parental leave and shared parental pay.
Finally and most importantly as part of the current rules of the European Economic Area (EEA), the UK will remain subject to many key aspects of EU employment law, those been TUPE, collective redundancies consultation, working time, and the protection afforded by Directive 2008/104/EC on temporary agency work. Therefore, we are likely to see very little change.
In conclusion, the fashion industries test of creativity will be put to task, as it increasingly needs to adapt and evolve with, political and economical change as a result of Brexit.