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Government proposes employment law reform along with abandoning ‘sunset’ in Retained EU Law Bill

Yesterday, in a statement made by Kemi Badenoch, Secretary of State for the Department for Business and Trade, the government announced it would remove the current sunset provision in the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill. The sunset provision in the current draft Bill meant that most retained EU laws would lapse at the end of this year, unless the government took positive action to preserve them. The government says that replacing the sunset provision will be a list of the retained EU laws that they intend to revoke under the Bill at the end of 2023.

The sunset provision had led to a great deal of speculation about what employment law would look like after 2023 and a level of uncertainty for employers, as a number of our employment laws in the UK (such as TUPE and the Agency Workers Regulations) could have been affected. This new government policy is stated to provide “certainty for business by making it clear which regulations will be removed from our statute book”.

Along with this announcement, a policy paper has been published which proposes some changes to employment law:

  • Removing the requirement on employers to keep a record of working hours
  • Introducing the right to legally use rolled-up holiday pay
  • Merging the two separate holiday entitlements (20 EU-derived days and 8 UK-derived days) into one pot of statutory annual leave
  • Removing the requirement to consult elected representatives on TUPE transfers where the employer has fewer than 50 employees and the transfer affects less than 10 employees (consultation will be with the employees directly instead)
  • Limiting the length of non-compete clauses to three months post termination (non-solicitation and confidentiality clauses will be unaffected)

We await the details of these proposals and expect to see legislation “when parliamentary time allows”.

Brexit: Ministers to ditch deadline to scrap retained EU laws