SDLP South Belfast MP Claire Hanna has said that legislation seeking to revoke EU law could destroy workers’ rights.
She was speaking ahead of the remaining stages of the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill in the House of Commons on Wednesday.
Ms Hanna said the legislation would be disastrous, removing important protections in a number of areas impacting workers’ rights, consumer rights and the environment.
Ms Hanna said:
“This legislation coming before the Commons tomorrow has the potential to change many aspects of everyday life, removing important protections and negatively impacting on our workforce, our rights and our environment. This is such a short sighted piece of legislation that many expected it would be withdrawn, as there are no serious plans in place to address gaping gaps in legislation, leaving many groups vulnerable to the whims of this government.
“Current legislation, earmarked for repeal by this bill, covers everything from rules around paid annual leave, to equal pay regardless of gender, maternity policy, breaks when at work, safety and the few existing protections against fire and rehire policies. Removing this legislation would leave workers, particularly women, at risk and based on their current anti trade union efforts the UK Government are unlikely to be progressive in this area. Even if government was minded to introduce protections there simply would not be enough time to get them all through Parliament before this self imposed deadline.
“This ill-thought legislation also risks breaching the UK’s Brexit trade agreement with the EU by reducing labour and social protections, creating a myriad of further problems. The SDLP will continue to oppose this legislation at Westminster and work hard to restore devolution, which should be in place to create protections for workers here."