Nighat Sahi

Published 23 May 2023

Brexit Changes to Employment Law

The UK government recently announced a number of Brexit-related changes to employment law. On the whole, the proposals are to be welcomed although they lack the clarity of detail at present.

Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill

The so-called ‘sunset clause’ in the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill has been a cause of concern for some time. It provides that EU law would be automatically revoked on the 31st of December 2023 unless expressly retained. However, the Government has now announced that the clause will be reversed so that everything will remain in force until such time as the Government actively takes steps to remove or amend it. The hope is that this will provide some certainty for businesses, as well as more time to review and amend EU laws.

Regulatory reform of the Working Time Regulations 1998 (WTR)  

The Government has also announced three changes to the Working Time Regulations which are currently felt by many to be complex and burdensome. The announcement includes a proposed consultation on removing the existing requirements for employers to keep working time records in respect of their workforce.

In addition, there are also proposals to introduce the express right for employers to pay ‘rolled-up holiday pay’. This is unlawful under current working time rules (although common practice in some organisations).

Finally, there are proposals to merge the four-week holiday entitlement (EU derived) with the ‘additional’ 1.6 weeks’ holiday entitlement under domestic regulations and thereby simplify the calculation of holiday entitlement. It is not proposed that holiday entitlement will be reduced.

Regulatory reform of the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE)

The Government also announced plans to make minor changes in respect of businesses with fewer than 50 employees and proposed transfers of fewer than 10 employees. The changes would mean in these circumstances, employers would not be required to elect employee representatives for the purpose of consulting them and could consult directly with employees. The intention of the changes is to reduce the burden on employers.

Non-compete clauses

The Government announced that it intends to introduce legislation to limit the duration of non-compete clauses to three months.

None of the proposed reforms currently have a date for implementation and will require further consultation before they can come into force.   

As always, we will keep you informed of any developments or further announcements and you can find more information about recent changes to employment law on our website. But if you’d like more information or to discuss the implications for you, please get in touch.

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