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Eu referendum – what does that mean for our jobs?

As we know, on June 23rd, the UK gets to vote on whether we stay in or leave the European Union. Coming from a recruitment background we are interested to see what will happen to jobs depending on the result. 

The European Union is a political union, often called the EU, to which the member states of the EEC are evolving. Based on the Maastrict Treaty, it envisions the eventual establishment of common economic, foreign, security, and justice policies. The benefits of being in the single market are;
•    Free movement of goods – Being a member of the EU means the UK doesn’t have to pay import or export tariffs on trade goods between other member countries. 
•    Free movement of people – this means people living and working in other member states can freely live and work in another member state, without needing a visa. 
•    Lifted Import/Export tariffs – depending on what is being imported/exported and where it is going. 

The free movement of goods is good because of trade and trade means jobs. If you’re wondering how EU trade affects the UK and jobs, here are a few facts;
•    Exports from the UK to countries outside the EU support 3,250,000 jobs in the UK.
•    Another 722,000 Brits are in jobs linked to exports from other EU countries to countries outside the EU.
•    This means 1 in 8 jobs in the UK depends on EU exports.
•    British exports to countries outside the EU also support over 335,000 jobs in the rest of the EU.

Does this mean if we vote to leave the EU on 23rd June, 1 in 8 jobs will be lost? 

Specific impacts of EU membership for UK employment rights;
•    Written statements of terms and conditions - In the UK, employees do not have a right to a written contract of employment. But, thanks to the EU written statement directive, ‘employees’ must be given a written statement setting out their pay and working conditions within 28 days of starting work. 
•    Working time - When the Working Time Directive was implemented in the UK in 1998, it introduced a maximum 48-hour working week (normally averaged over 17 weeks), a daily rest period of 11 consecutive hours, a weekly rest period of 24 consecutive hours and rest breaks during the working day.
•    Maternity rights 
•    Parental leave rights
•    Equal pay
•    Data Protection
•    Collective Redundancy Consultation in the Trade Union and Labour Relations Act 1992.
•    TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) regulations 2006 – covering employee’s rights when their employer changes as a result of a sale or take-over
•    Health and Safety – this affects employees, workers and freelancers / contractors
•    Human Rights Act 1998 – covering the right to a fair and public hearing; freedom of assembly and association; freedom of expression; freedom of thought, conscience and religion; respect for private and family life.

If we vote to leave, will we still get to keep these employee rights? 

If we leave…
Obviously if we vote to stay in the EU nothing will change. However if we vote to leave things could start to change, but we wouldn’t see any changes for a while as there are a minimum of 2 years of negotiations to understand where the UK stands with the EU. Also EU citizens who are currently working here in the UK would not be booted out of the country, therefore we don’t have to worry about a demand for workers to fill jobs. 
Some people are also worried that current EU employment rights such as Maternity and Paternity pay, Holiday Pay, Working time etc would be scrapped. However the UK government would almost certainly decide to keep these rights. If the UK signs up to the free movement of people, its citizens can work anywhere in the EU. But if the UK goes down the work permit route, you would probably need a visa.

Leave campaigners say: There would be a jobs boom as firms are freed from EU regulations and red tape with small-and medium-sized companies who don't trade with the EU benefiting the most. In its recent paper, the EU Jobs Myth, the free market Institute for Economic Affairs seeks to debunk the claim that 3-4 million jobs would be lost if Britain left. "Jobs are associated with trade, not membership of a political union, and there is little evidence to suggest that trade would substantially fall between British businesses and European consumers in the event the UK was outside the EU," it argues. "The UK labour market is incredibly dynamic, and would adapt quickly to changed relationships with the EU."

Remain campaigners say: Millions of jobs would be lost as global manufacturers moved to lower-cost EU countries. Britain's large, foreign-owned car industry would be particularly at risk. "The attractiveness of the UK as a place to invest and do automotive business is clearly underpinned by the UK's influential membership of the EU," said a KPMG report on the car industry. The financial services sector, which employs about 2.1 million people in the UK, also has concerns about a British exit. "The success of the UK financial services industry is to a large extent built on EU Internal Market legislation. To abandon this for some untried, unknown and unpredictable alternative would carry very significant risks," said global law firm Clifford Chance in a report by think tank TheCityUK..

The only way to make a conclusion from all this is to VOTE on the 23RD JUNE 2016. No one can foresee the coming months and we will have to wait and see what the result is before we can start predicting the future of the UK whether it is IN or OUT of the EU!