Post Brexit changes to employment law
In September 2022, the Government announced the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill. This intended to review all EU-derived laws and decide whether to keep them or not, post Brexit. It was intended that each government department would review the 4800 laws and regulations that had come from the EU and decide whether they were to be retained, amended or allowed to expire on 31 December 2023.
However, the volume of legislation to review has resulted in pressure being placed on the Government to withdraw the Bill (and the plan to undertake the review).
The Business and Trade Secretary, Kemi Badenoch has now announced a major governmental U-turn and has removed this controversial Bill, dubbed the “sunset clause”. Instead, it has been replaced with a specific list of the EU laws that the Government intends to revoke. No major employment laws are to be revoked. However, there will be a few changes to key HR-related laws as follows:
Reducing Working Time Regulations reporting burdens –
The Government plans to reduce time-consuming and “disproportionate” reporting requirements under the Working Time Regulations, without affecting workers’ rights. The consultation considers removing the need to keep working time records for almost all members of the workforce and reducing the administrative burden and complexity of calculating holiday pay. It is proposed that rolled-up holiday paya is introduced, so that workers can receive their holiday pay with every payslip. Finally, it proposes merging the current two separate statutory leave entitlements (basic and additional) but with no reduction in the amount of statutory annual leave.
Simplifying the TUPE Regulations –
The Government’s view is that the Regulations provide important protections for employees but there are some simplifications that can be made to reduce the administrative burden without changing employee rights. Businesses cannot consult employees directly where they do not have employee representatives in place and must elect new employee representatives.
The Government will consult on removing this requirement for businesses with fewer than 50 people where the transfer affects fewer than 10 employees.
These proposals bring in significant changes to UK employment law and are likely to relieve at least some of the burdens placed upon employers by legislation. It will be interesting to see as these proposals progress what details are added in or removed. We will, of course, bring you up to date as soon as we know further details!