How Brexit Could Affect Working Parents in UK

With Brexit fast approaching, there is no doubt that there could be a huge impact on working parents post 31stOctober. We explore how Brexit could affect working parents in UK and how it has impacted me on a personal level.

What has the Impact been so far?

Brexit has had a huge impact on some working parents and there is still a lot of uncertainty of what exactly is going to happen after 31stOctober. The industries most affected are Financial Services, Automotive, Gig Economy, Catering and Health Services. To give you an example, the Financial Services sector has already moved £1 trillion worth of assets to EU and 20% of total jobs in UK could be lost.

Workers Rights and Parental Leave

The majority of rights enjoyed by workers in the UK such as part-time work, fixed-term contracts, and anti-discrimination laws are due to legislation passed by EU. In order to protect and provide continuity, the government passed the EU Withdrawal Act in 2018 which will ensure that EU law converts to UK law once Brexit hits. This means that workers will have the same level of protection as those under EU law.

Nevertheless, this can be open to negotiation which could hit mothers the hardest. Recently, employers have suggested a change with 18 weeks per child of unpaid parental leave as this can be challenging for businesses . They say this is because the remaining employees may have to work longer hours to make up the shortfall caused by those going on unpaid parental leave. On the flip side, it is challenging for parents who may have to pay extra for childcare or change their employment status altogether if their unpaid parental leave is cut.

Parental Leave and Flexible Working

One piece of good news is that the laws regarding maternity leave and flexible working are predominantly UK based and will likely remain unchanged after Brexit. In addition, UK parents enjoy a longer than average maternity (and paternity leave) of 52 weeks compared to their European partners average of 14 weeks.

Personal Cost

Brexit has had a big impact on me and my family. We have had to move to the EU due to my husband’s job. Many families have left jobs, family, friends, and childcare due to Brexit.

Do I miss the UK? Actually, no. I’m so grateful and happy to be given the chance to experience a new country, a new language, new friends and the food and healthcare is fantastic. Living in a new country has opened my eyes and for that, I am really thankful for the change.

If your life changes due to Brexit, it’s just a change and it doesn’t need to be negative. Just embrace it and move forward.


Published: October 14, 2019

Hi, I'm Louisa

Thanks for reading my article

The biggest thing I’ve learnt from having a career and being a mum is the ability to be strong enough to say, “this is the life I want” and not feel guilty for saying it. I know, it’s easier said than done right? But, I’ve been able to do this by organising my career in a way that doesn’t inflict on family life.

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