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Limits on working hours may be relaxed after Brexit, warns employment expert

BMJ 2017; 359 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j4547 (Published 04 October 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;359:j4547
  1. Anne Gulland
  1. London

Legal protections ensuring that doctors do not breach limits on safe working hours could be eroded after the UK leaves the European Union, an employment expert has warned.

Jason Heyes, professor of employment relations at Sheffield University, told a meeting discussing Brexit’s effect on healthcare that the European Union’s working time regulations, which ensure that doctors do not work for more than an average of 48 hours a week and guarantee rights such as rest breaks and holidays, might be targeted by a Conservative government when the UK leaves the EU.

“Once UK policy makers have the ability to start tinkering with working time regulations they will start doing so,” he told the meeting, organised by …

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