Post-Brexit Employment Rights and Trade Deals

Submitted by sglenister on Wed, 21/06/2017 - 15:07
19/07/2017 15:01

Wednesday 19 July 2017

A one-day conference
Unite the Union, London
9.30am - 3.30pm

Organised by the Institute of Employment Rights

About the Conference

What kind of deal can we expect out of Brexit? Politicians' answers were unclear before the General Election, and now that the Conservative Party has lost its majority, that uncertainty can only grow. Despite verbal assurances from the government, no protection for workers' rights has yet been set in stone. As such, EU laws including the Working Time Directive, rights around holiday pay, and equality protections could now be at risk.

Current plans for the Great Repeal Bill have been criticised for providing the government with too many sweeping "Henry VIII" powers – that is, the ability to amend thousands of laws without even debating them in parliament. These powers could allow politicians to water down workers' rights. There are also fears that case law derived from the EU could be overturned by British judges if they are challenged following the UK's exit from the bloc.

As a result, there have been widespread calls for workers' rights derived from the EU to be added to the UK statute in primary legislation, which would prevent them from being amended or overturned without a parliamentary vote. However, the Conservative Party has thus far refused to do so.

Once it leaves the EU, the UK will also need to sign new international trade deals with countries and blocs around the globe. In many of these negotiations, the government is expected to face pressure to enter into a race to the bottom on workers' rights and to agree to 'corporation-friendly' terms that could deepen economic inequalities as well as push the UK towards greater privatisation of public services such as the NHS.

At this one-day conference, some of the UK's leading academics, lawyers and campaigners will discuss the threats to employment law posed by Brexit, as well as proposing ideas for how workers' rights can be protected and even improved upon during the negotiations with the EU, as well as in future trade deals.


A discount is available to those who pay upfront (before the date of the conference) either online or by cheque. Those who pay by invoice will pay full price.

Payment up front

£75 Subscribers and members
£90 trade unions
£220 Commercial

Payment by invoice

£80 Subscribers and members
£100 trade unions
£240 Commercial


Unite the Union
128 Theobald's Road

Additional Information

Click here for information on how to book, who should attend and CPD, NPP and EPP Accreditation


Three easy ways to book your place

  1. Book online with Paypal or a credit/debit card
    Please select the appropriate option from below
    Delegate name(s):
    Name of union/organisation:
  2. Book by cheque by filling out our booking form and returning it in the post
  3. Book by invoice by filling out our booking form and returning it in the post


Chaired by Adrian Weir, Unite

Diana Holland, Unite
Trade and employment rights post-Brexit: setting standards in UK industries

Ian Hodson, BFAWU
Brexit and trade deals: a BFAWU perspective

Iain Birell, Thompsons Solicitors
How Brexit is affecting caselaw already

Prof. Keith Ewing, IER President
The time limited floor of workers' rights in post-Brexit trade deal Britain. Is there a better way?

Prof. John Foster, University of West Scotland
Scotland and Brexit

Robin White, Old Square Chambers
Equality legislation before and after the EU exit

Click here to download the full programme

IER_post-brexit London 19July2017.pdf164.82 KB

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