After Brexit, the government introduced the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill to deal with all EU-derived law. This Bill originally proposed that all EU-derived law would automatically ‘sunset’ on 31st December 2023 unless legislation was enacted to keep it or bring it back. In employment law terms this would have affected protections for part-time, fixed term and agency workers; some rights for all forms of parental leave; rights around working time such as the 48 hour working week and a right to paid holiday; equal pay; and TUPE protections.
In a recent statement to Parliament however, the government has reversed its position on the sunset clause. Instead, the default will now be that EU-derived law will remain, unless the government specifically revokes it. A list of law to be revoked is included in the amended Bill. None of the law which will be now be revoked is relevant to employment in local authorities.
The Government has however consulted on some proposed changes to EU-derived employment law, as follows:
- To combine what is currently two separate paid holiday entitlements (4 weeks required by EU Law and 1.6 weeks of UK paid holiday) into one 5.6 week paid holiday entitlement
- To allow payment of ‘rolled up’ holiday to workers whose hours vary – this will allow holiday to be paid as it is accrued (i.e. as an addition on top of hourly rate), rather than when it is taken
- To clarify how workers in their first year of employment accrue holiday entitlement
Recording of Working Time
- To remove the requirement for employers to keep detailed records of working time to ensure compliance with maximum 48 hour week and rest period
- To permit employers to consult directly with affected employees in certain circumstances, rather than being obliged to elect and consult via employee representatives. This will apply to either small employers (fewer than 50 employees) or to organisations of any size where fewer than 10 employees will transfer.
For more information on these changes to the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill, and what the impacts may be for employers, listen to our South East Employers podcast, The HR edit. Series 1, Episode 8 discusses how this Bill will affect employers and employment law.