As part of the post-Brexit future relationship between the UK and the EU, both parties are expected to mutually agree minimum standards for employment protections. This will comprise part of a ‘level playing field’ for future trade.

Both sides of the negotiations have their own reasons for negotiating an agreement on employment protections. In the EU, there are fears that without common minimum standards the UK will be tempted to deregulate its employment legislation in order to gain a competitive advantage over EU member states. In the UK, there is a broad public consensus about the importance of protecting EU-derived employment rights after Brexit, and the government wants to agree employment provisions as part of its wider plans for an ambitious UK-EU relationship.

This paper explores how to guarantee a ‘level playing field’ for employment protections.