2021: Outlook, advice for the UK’s employers

ALEKSANDRA TRACZYK, a solicitor at Winckworth Sherwood, traces a brief trail into the fresh Brexit landscape

DECEMBER 31 marked the end of 2020, a year like no other. It also marked the end of the Brexit transition period.

In terms of changes to the employment law landscape, legislative change is likely to come in gradually. The changes to retained ECJ case law are also likely to take time. From an immigration perspective, the changes have been more immediate, with the new points-based system in force for new arrivals from the EU, EEA and Switzerland.

Those wishing to employ anyone from the continent need to be registered as Home Office-licenced sponsors. Employers should continue to check job applicants’ right to work in the UK until June 30, and they have a duty not to discriminate against EU, EEA or Swiss citizens by requiring them to show their status under the EU Settlement Scheme until that date.

Those employers who transfer personal data outside the UK should review the adequacy of their data processes and protections.

Contracts of employment should be reviewed in relation to post-termination restrictions and references to geographical limitation (i.e. non-compete clauses that refer to “throughout the EU”).

Employers with an international workforce should examine whether they wish to retain existing works council agreements, domestic and European, and consider any impact on its UK workers who are temporarily posted abroad.