Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng MP has confirmed that the controversial review into how EU employment rights protections could be changed post-Brexit is no longer going ahead. The move follows several contradictory statements in recent weeks, with the planned review originally being denied, then confirmed, and now the government has confirmed it has been axed once and for all.
In an interview Kwasi Kwarteng confirmed: “So the review is no longer happening within the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). I made it very very clear to officials in the department that we’re not interested in watering down workers’ rights.”
According to The Guardian, the consultation on employment rights was signed off by Kwasi Kwarteng’s predecessor Alok Sharma, who left after being given full-time role leading preparations for the Cop26 climate conference.
Proposals that were under consideration would reduce worker rights such as ending the 48-hour maximum working week, changes to rules about breaks at work, removing overtime pay when calculating certain holiday pay entitlements, all of which were vehemently opposed by trade unions. Given that worker exploitation is reportedly on the increase due to pandemic-related pressures on businesses, it is unsurprising that the review has been shelved.