The Common Law’s Challenge: Employment Law & Brexit

‘Global Britain’ carries ominous or optimistic tones when considering UK employment law and policy after ‘leaving’ the EU. This presentation assesses the role of the common law in a ‘Global Britain’ (using the works of Bogg, Cabrelli, Collins and Countouris). Attention will be given to the country’s history of labour relations (such as the critical works of Kahn-Freund, Lord Wedderburn, Davies and Freedland, Collins, Deakin, Ashiagbor and Dukes) with the aim of assessing current trends in UK employment law and policy such as the emphasis on regulation for the benefit of small to medium sized enterprises as economic drivers. While the present trajectory is not encouraging for the retention of employment protections once EU law is no longer applicable, this discussion will attempt to point some foundation for the entrenchment and growth of employment rights at common law balanced with government initiatives to facilitate economic growth during what are anticipated to be difficult years.