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Conditions of Employment: EU Law

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 21st January 2020.

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Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will maintain the UK's levels of (a) maternity leave and (b) other employment rights in the event that the EU changes its policies on those rights.

Photo of Kelly Tolhurst Kelly Tolhurst Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

The Government has committed to protect workers’ rights after the UK has left the EU. We will continue to enhance them in the best way for the UK, and have announced in the Queen’s Speech that we will be bringing forward an Employment Rights Bill to deliver the greatest reform of workers’ rights in over 20 years.

In accordance with the Political Declaration on the future relationship between the UK and the EU, in future if the EU changes its law in relation to workers’ rights, the UK will not be obliged to align. Instead the UK Parliament (in respect of Great Britain) and the Northern Ireland Assembly will be responsible for deciding on future changes to workers’ rights in the UK.

In relation to maternity leave specifically, the UK offers pregnant women and new mothers up to 52 weeks of Maternity Leave, which is already significantly more generous than the EU minimum of 14 weeks. Policies to support working families will be key to achieving our goal of making the UK the best place in the world to work.

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