Update: Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill
Posted on 16th May 2023 at 09:50
You may remember, from our previous article, there has been a great deal of alarm around the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill and speculation about which regulations would be lost, and the impact of those losses. It seems a lot of the panic may have been unnecessary, as the government announced a new approach this week.
Originally, the bill was planned to automatically revoke almost all retained EU law at the end of 2023, unless a statutory instrument is passed to preserve it. The government now plans to remove the automatic revocation and instead list specific laws to be revoked at the end of 2023.
From the list of regulations that will be repealed at the end of 2023, it looks like there will be little impact on general employment law. Only three regulations relating to employment law will be repealed, and these are specific to posted workers (an employee temporarily posted to another EU member state by their employer) and road tanker drivers.
All other regulations will remain in place to be considered one by one. Ministers will maintain the power to revoke and replace EU laws but will have more time for assessment and consultation.
You don’t need to make any changes yet (unless your work involves road tankers and or post staff to EU member states), but the government has outlined some of the planned changes to employment law.
The changes proposed so far are:
The Working Time regulations –remove or reduce the requirements to keep records of working hours.
Holiday pay –reduce the admin involved in calculating holiday pay by moving towards rolled-up holiday pay, paid in every payslip.
TUPE –allow smaller businesses to consult directly with staff when less than 10 employees are affected, avoiding the need to elect an employee representative.
Non-compete clauses –limit the length of non-compete clauses (which prevent employees working for a competitor) to 3 months. This won’t affect non-solicitation clauses (which prevent former employees from approaching customers), paid notice leave, gardening leave, or confidentiality clauses.
The overall trend seems to be cutting down on admin rather than removing or adding employment rights. However, the plans are still a very broad outline, so we won’t know the full effect until the detailed proposals are released.
What does this mean for my business?
There is no need to panic about major changes at the end of 2023. We will no longer be losing swathes of regulations, so you only need to keep aware of which legislation is being changed. Continue with practice as usual until informed of specific changes.
Unfortunately, there is no set timeline for the proposed updates yet, so you just need to keep an eye on the news. You can also check out the Retained EU Law dashboard for a list of all retained regulations (which can be filtered by government department) and details of what has been repealed, amended, replaced or unchanged. Visit the dashboard here.
Tagged as: Employers
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