Campaigners have warned that Britain’s exit from the EU could deal a severe blow to efforts to secure equality for women in the workplace.
It remains unclear whether or not proposals which will be implemented across the institution in future will be adopted by the UK, in light of our imminent departure.
Among the suggestions outlined by the EU’s executive commission earlier this year included allowing paid time off to care for sick children.
But more worrying still for some women’s groups is the prospect that existing protections could be diluted or done away with altogether.
They fear that caps could be placed on gender discrimination claims or a greater burden of proof introduced for those seeking redress for pay discrimination.
Michael Ford, a professor of employment law at the University of Bristol Law School, last month warned that “the whole legal edifice is vulnerable.”
The Prime Minister has dismissed suggestions that Brexit could pave the way for a watering down of workers’ rights, including those relating to equal pay and sex discrimination.
However, organisations such as the Fawcett Society want to see Theresa May’s commitment formally incorporated as an amendment to the Repeal Bill, the legislation which will transfer great reams of EU legislation onto the UK’s statute books.
The EU meanwhile is seeking to exert its own pressure on the Government over workplace rights, warning of the consequences of looking to cut regulations.