Government rejects claim workers protections to be scrapped after Brexit


Environment Secretary George Eustice addresses EU “teething problems”

The government has insisted ministers are not planning to “lower” workers’ rights amid reports they are preparing to tear up key protections enshrined in EU law.

The Financial Times said the 48-hour working week could be scrapped under government plans for a post-Brexit overhaul of employment laws. Labour described the reported plan as a “disgrace” and warned it would fight any such moves “tooth and nail”.

Meanwhile, Amber Rudd has criticised her former boss, Boris Johnson, for the way he treated people in order to get his Brexit agenda through, “whatever the cost in terms of the economy and, I thought, the consequences to people’s lives”.

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Minister rejects reports government preparing to tear up workers’ protections

Kwasi Kwarteng, the business secretary, has insisted ministers are not planning to “lower” workers’ rights.

The Financial Times reported that the 48-hour working week could be scrapped under government plans for a post-Brexit overhaul of labour laws.

But Mr Kwarteng claimed the government wanted to improve workplace protections – not reduce them.

“We are not going to lower the standards of workers’ rights,” he tweeted.

“The UK has one of the best workers’ rights records in the world – going further than the EU in many areas.

“We want to protect and enhance workers’ rights going forward, not row back on them.”

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said labour market policy was kept under “regular review” to ensure businesses had the “appropriate freedoms and flexibility to innovate and grow” while safeguarding protections for workers.

Tom Batchelor15 January 2021 08:36

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Limit on hours worked in a week could be scrapped after Brexit, says report

The 48-hour working week could be scrapped by the UK government under reported plans to rip up key labour protections following Brexit.

The weekly cap on working hours is set to be ditched along with other protections enshrined in EU law as part of an overhaul of labour rules, according to the Financial Times.

Labour described the reported plan as a “disgrace” and warned it would fight any such moves “tooth and nail”.

Tom Batchelor15 January 2021 08:28

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Good morning and welcome to The Independent’s rolling political coverage as the second working week with the UK outside the EU comes to a close.

Tom Batchelor15 January 2021 08:22



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