High Court Brexit judgment adds to employer uncertainty

New High Court rule stating that government can't trigger Article 50 alone will add to the uncertainty of employers.

The High Court has today ruled that parliament must be consulted before triggering Article 50.

The ruling is a monumental win for campaigners who argued that Prime Minister Theresa May does not have the power to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty without MPs’ approval.

The decision means that parliament has to be given a vote before Article 50 is triggered.

The announcement made by Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas, Master of the Rolls Sir Terence Etherton and Lord Justice Sales, is to be appealed against to the Supreme Court.

There is a worry among businesses that this decision could cause further uncertainty when it comes to retaining European staff and that these events will further polarise the workforce.

Alan Price, CEO at Croner, thinks that this is without doubt the most significant constitutional case we have seen in recent history.

He says, ‘From an employer’s perspective there is great uncertainty on the employment and HR implications of Brexit and this High Court decision creates a further step in the process.

‘Small and medium-sized employers are worried about the potential impact of the UK leaving the European Union on their business and how current working practices may change leaving them with a shortage of staff.

‘Bosses are also apprehensive about any new legislation which may leave their current workers ineligible for the right to work in a UK business. In fact they are already seeing EU nationals who haven’t returned from leave back from their country of origin and increased polarisation in the workforce between UK and EU foreign nationals.’

Price concludes, ‘At this point our advice to employers would be to ensure that all the relevant documentation they have for any migrant workers in employment is current and meets the requirements of the Immigration Act 2016. If employers are in any doubt, they should seek expert guidance.’

Further reading on legal claims

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the Smallbusiness.co.uk and Growthbusiness.co.uk titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the Express.co.uk.

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