In the first of a series of announcements, Kemi Badenoch (Secretary of State for the Department of Business and Trade) has provided an update on the Government’s plans to remove EU law post-Brexit.
Until now, it was proposed that all Retained EU Law would automatically be revoked on 31st December 2023, unless it was expressly retained. A large amount of UK employment law is derived from Europe, so there has been widespread concern about the uncertainty this would cause.
The Government has been carrying out an audit and identified around 4,800 laws that would need to be reviewed. This does not include the impact of case law and decisions of the court that would also have disappeared. They have now decided to remove the deadline that would have seen all these laws automatically revoked and will propose an amendment that retains those laws until they are expressly removed. There will be a list of laws the Government hopes to address by the end of the year, but no deadline.
In addition, several other amendments to Employment Law have been proposed in a policy paper called ‘Smarter Regulation to Grow the Economy’. The key reforms announced yesterday are:
- The removal of a requirement to keep records of working hours under the Working Time Regulations;
- Allowing rolled-up holiday pay, which has previously been unlawful (albeit with limited remedy available);
- The merging of basic and additional holiday leave entitlements to create one entitlement, but retaining the same amount of statutory leave overall;
- Removal of the requirement to consult with employee representatives in TUPE transfers if the business has fewer than 50 employees and the transfer affects less than 10 employees. There will remain a requirement to consult but with individuals.
- To limit the length of non-compete clauses to 3 months post-termination.
These proposals are substantial changes to current employment law obligations and the effects of these changes could be significant. The Government has not indicated when the changes will be made. Most may be made quickly by secondary legislation but change to TUPE will require primary legislation “when parliamentary time allows”.
If you need further support on all things Employment Law please do not hesitate to call our Employment Law Team on 01274 864 999.