My ’employment and equality’ amendment to Article 50

Employment and equality protections

This amendment, which was drafted in collaboration with the Women’s Equality Party, would ensure that, once the UK has withdrawn from the EU, any changes to workers’ rights or equality legislation derived from EU law would be subject to full Parliamentary scrutiny.

In recent weeks, we have heard repeated and very welcome statements by government ministers, most notably the Secretary of State for Exiting the EU, that EU-derived workers’ rights are not at risk from Brexit. And the White Paper states “the Government will protect and enhance the rights people have at work”.

However, the White Paper also says that the forthcoming Great Repeal Bill will enable changes to be made to such vital, EU-derived law by secondary legislation – perhaps not by this Government but quite possibly by a future one. So, my amendment simply seeks to write those welcome ministerial assurances onto the face of the Bill, with particular regard to equality and women’s rights.

The amendment

Clause 1, page 1, line 5, at end insert—

“( ) A notification may only be given under subsection (1) once—

(a)    Her Majesty’s Government has laid before each House of Parliament a report identifying plans to address any impacts of withdrawal from the European Union on the maintenance of employment and equality protections on the grounds of any of the protected characteristics as defined in the Equality Act 2010, where such protections are contained in UK primary and secondary legislation and currently guaranteed by the UK’s membership of the European Union; and

(b) the approach set out in the report has been approved by a resolution of each House of Parliament.”