With all the uncertainty surrounding UK businesses (and just about everything else) in the run-up to Brexit, organisations are left in an understandably frustrating position where they are just unsure about how to go about their day-to-day operations (Do they prepare to leave and implement changes? Do they maintain current practices until Brexit is absolutely certain? What practices need to be maintained if EU law no longer applies?). Well, we can put your mind to rest about one thing. Will your staff still need to be trained?
Staff require training for a variety of reasons, but in many cases, it’s a legal requirement.
But once we leave the EU, won’t there be legislative changes?
Yes and no.
The European Union (Withdrawal) Act was introduced in 2018 in order to “provide legal continuity during Brexit by copying over the entire body of EU law onto the UK’s post-exit statute book”.
Essentially, this means that the government has copied and pasted almost all EU legislation into UK law to give themselves more time to think about what they want to keep, what they want to change, and what they want to scrap altogether.
We may see small changes in legislation, but nothing too drastic to begin with. For example, once we leave the EU, the GDPR will no longer apply. Instead, the already existing Data Protection Act 2018 will apply, which is almost a carbon copy of the EU legislation and follows the same principles.
Should I continue training my staff?
Yes. Unfortunately, leaving the EU doesn’t eradicate fire hazards, musculoskeletal disorders, asbestos-related illnesses, and the various other hazards which plague workplaces up and down the land (and which organisations should be recording in their risk assessments).
Quite simply, the law exists for a reason, and it is for the benefit of both workers and organisations. They are in place to protect the best interests of the workers, to enable them to do their work whilst feeling safe, to protect the organisation from reputational damage, and to avoid loss of productivity through serious incidents. Morally speaking, the legal obligation shouldn’t be your main motivation to train your staff to work safely.
In conclusion, with the looming uncertainty of what will happen to the UK post-Brexit, one of the practices that will keep its consistency is the high standard expected of organisations regarding health and safety - so make sure you continue training your staff well.