Amend, repeal, replace: Brexit Bill and the effect on employment law

Emma Swan
Emma Swan

Published: October 14th, 2022

6 min

On 22 September, new Prime Minister Liz Truss announced the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill. This Bill seeks to make it easier for the government to amend, repeal and replace retained EU Law in a bid to give the UK the opportunity to develop new laws that best fit the needs of the country and growth of the economy.

Key areas of employment law that fall within the scope of the Bill include the following:

  • Working Time Regulations
  • Agency Workers Regulations
  • Fixed Term Employees Regulations
  • Part Time Worker Regulations
  • TUPE Regulations

The Bill provides that all retained EU law contained in domestic secondary legislation and retained direct EU legislation will be revoked unless a decision has been made to preserve it.

However, the government has not yet provided an exact indication of which regulations it intends to revoke, retain, or amend under the Bill and we do not yet know when this information will be provided.

A large amount of UK employment law has derived from the EU and has been a dividing topic for quite some time. Some businesses view the 'pro-worker', EU approach as favourable and feel that it is far from a burden due to the fact that workplace fairness and equality encourages efficiency and productivity. However, on the flip side of the argument, some argue that European laws have imposed unreasonable and unnecessary burdens on business, particularly on small and medium sized business.

At the moment it is difficult for employers to prepare in advance for the forthcoming changes to workforce regulation; but it seems that the reforms which are on their way have the potential to be significant and it is important to keep up to date with emerging updates.

Emma Swan, Head of the Commercial Employment team here at Forbes Solicitors, has been asked to be part of a British Chamber of Commerce National Policy Committee for Employment and Immigration Law, contributing to the BCC's proposal's to Government for businesses and has been reaching out to local HR professionals and business owners for their views on what areas of EU legislation currently works, what doesn't and how they impact on their business.

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