As we all continue to get our heads around the changes within the current Government and Kwasi Kwarteng’s Mini-Budget announced in September 2022, Business Secretary, Jacob Rees-Mogg decided to announce (rather quietly) on 22nd September 2022, details of The Retained EU Law (Revocation & Reform) Bill 2022.
What is ‘The Retained EU Law (Revocation & Reform) Bill 2022?
Retained EU Law is a category of domestic law created at the end of the Brexit transition period and consists of EU-derived legislation that was preserved in our domestic legal framework by the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018. There is a total of 2400 pieces of retained EU law, 318 of which apply to business, energy, and industrial strategy, and some of which cover workers rights, which in the world of employment law is a pretty big deal!
When introducing the bill, Jacob Rees-Mogg stated that ‘It had never been intended that retained EU law would sit on our statute book indefinitely’, so therefore, the bill will ‘sunset’ on 31st December 2023, meaning these laws will either be repealed (revoked), reformed or replaced. If needed, a ‘sunset extension date’ will be applied, however the extension date will reach no further than 23rd June 2026.
Repeal, Reform or Replace? That is the Question!
Over the next 15 months the Government will decide which EU Laws they will choose to either repeal, replace or reform.
- Repeal or Revoke – The Government will choose to completely annul a particular EU law so that it no longer sits within our domestic legal framework.
- Replace – The Government may choose to completely replace a particular EU law with a new UK version.
- Reform – The Government may choose to remove elements of a particular law that reflect EU law, reforming it into purely UK law.
What Effect Will This Have on Employment Law?
The honest answer is that we don’t know for sure. Nor does any other employment law expert. Our educated guess is that it may affect the following:
- The Working-Time Regulations 1998 inc. paid annual leave, the 48-hour working week
- The Health & Safety at Work Regulation 1999
- Agency Worker Regulations 2010
- The Part-time Workers Regulations 2000
- The Fixed-term Employees Regulations 2002
Whilst we can continue to speculate, our best advice is to keep an eye and an ear out over the next 15 months to see what announcements are made, to ensure you are up to date on the potential changes in employment law and to workers rights.
Once we know more we wil let you know.