Many vital rights at work in the UK are derived from EU law, guaranteeing things like paid leave entitlements, protections from being forced to work excessive hours, discrimination protections and rights for working mums-to-be.
Following the UK vote to leave the European Union, we now have to decide what happens to these rights. As the official Leave campaign's plan for managing Brexit said:
“Parliament will decide carefully which areas of existing EU law should a) be kept, b) be amended and c) be removed.”
Prominent leave campaigners have called for a halving of regulations derived from EU law, or flexibility in interpreting rights, claiming that British business would benefit from a reduction in "red tape".
What they call "red tape" is really rights and protections that are valued by millions of working people. Attempts to cut these rights, or to limit the range of workers they apply to (for example exempting staff of small businesses or temporary workers), would cause great harm to fairness at work and to working people's living standards.
We need to keep a close eye on our MPs as they start to debate what happens to our rights at work, and hold them to account, whether they backed leave or remain. They must not cut or water down any of the rights that working people and their unions fought so hard to win.
Can you help us get the message to your MP and their colleagues in Parliament? We have started a petition that we will use to show them how many of their own constituents support strong rights at work, and will publish their response.
Thanks for all your support,
John and the Going To Work team