Working people have a huge stake in the EU referendum because workers’ rights could be under threat if the UK decides to leave.
Current workers’ rights are underpinned by EU legislation, which would therefore be at risk if people vote to leave.
These rights, which include paid annual leave, time off for antenatal appointments and fair treatment for part-time workers, are used every day by millions of workers.
But if the UK were to leave the EU, no-one can say what will happen to these rights.
Decisions on which ones should be keep and which ones should be amended or dropped altogether would be left to the Government in a review of all UK laws linked to the EU.
And any changes could let employers cut the benefits and protections that workers currently receive.
The EU-derived rights include the right to:
• Twenty days paid annual leave a year
• A maximum working week of 48 hours on average
• Paid time off for antenatal appointments and protection in the work place for pregnant women
• Eighteen weeks parental leave per child
• Equal pay for men and women
• Equal treatment for part-time, fixed-term and agency workers.
I know I have touched on some of these facts before, but these rights cannot be taken for granted and there will be no guarantees that any government will keep them if the UK leaves the EU.
And without the backing of EU laws, unscrupulous employers will have free rein to cut many of their workers’ hard-won benefits and protections.
The current government has already shown its appetite to attack workers’ rights.
The question is there for everyone ... can we risk a leap into the unknown?