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PM urged to protect EU working rights

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The Prime Minister has been urged to protect workers’ rights after Britain leaves the European Union.

The future of laws entitling staff to holiday rights, rest breaks and protection from illegal working activity is in doubt after the referendum, MPs and union leaders have said.

They have called upon Theresa May to safeguard workers’ rights, such as those enshrined in the 1996 Employment Act.

The Act – which protects annual, maternity and parental leave – incorporates EU law into UK legislation.

Labour MP Chuka Umunna, chair of Vote Leave Watch, said workers could lose out on European Court judgments which have protected workers in discrimination and holiday pay cases.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, he said: “You have said repeatedly that ‘Brexit means Brexit’. But you must now begin to set out what this means.

“You owe it to the working people of Britain to make clear that the pledges made by your cabinet colleagues to retain EU legislation on workers’ rights will be delivered.

“Anything else will be a betrayal of British workers, whether they voted to leave the EU or to remain a member.

“Do the right thing by the working people of Britain, and commit unequivocally to protecting the rights on which dignity at work depends.”