ABSTRACT. This paper reviews how legal, political and economic threats to be borne out of Britain’s decision to leave the European Union (EU) will short-change pre-Brexit work protection standards in the United Kingdom (UK). These threat-factors are considered in view of their effects on two classes of workers: low-income temporary agency workers (TAW); and low-income self-employed workers in the growing UK gig economy. This paper describes impending post-Brexit threats, to pre-existing policy implementation threats curtailing legally envisaged occupational safety and health (OSH) standards, and the practice of proactively preventing all foreseeable work related risks to the mental or physical health of workers. Post-Brexit threats add to current limitations to employment protections for low-income workers in the UK, and despite the recently proposed labour law reforms by the 2017 Taylor Review in regard to low-income workers, it is argued that these Brexit threat factors increase the risk of not extending the principle of equal protection to these two classes of workers in UK law, in ways envisaged under the current EU regulation. The paper concludes that in view of the notion of occupational wellbeing, the risks of physical and mental harms posed to low-income workers through exploitative work practices segment them from other workers who enjoy full employment law protections under UK labour law.
JEL codes: J24; J44; J62; E24

Keywords: occupational wellbeing; low-income workers; dependent workers, gig economy; temporary agency workers; self-employed workers; equal protection

How to cite: Orazulike, Ugochukwu (2018). “Post-Brexit Threats to Work Safety and Health Standards and Good Working Conditions in the UK,” Psychosociological Issues in Human Resource Management 6(1): 63–95.

Received 12 January 2018 • Received in revised form 18 March 2018
Accepted 20 March 2018 • Available online 10 April 2018


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