On 22 September 2022, the government published the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill 2022, with the aim of ending the special status of retained EU law under UK law by 31 December 2023, unless specific legislation is introduced to retain it. Whilst this date can be extended until June 2026, the Bill makes provision for the government to specify, amend, repeal and replace retained EU law, which includes UK statutory instruments introduced to comply with EU law.
Moreover, the Bill contains a “sunset clause”, meaning that unless the extension to June 2026 is enforced, what is left of the retained EU law at the end of 2023 will simply disappear. It is not yet known what the government will choose to retain, however, from an employment perspective, it is possible that we could be saying goodbye to TUPE, part-time and fixed-term worker Regulations, paid annual holiday, the 48-hour working week as well as agency worker regulations.
Caspar Glyn KC has argued the Bill will affect “Article 157 of the Treaty and the principle of normal pay for holiday. The former is what tens of thousands of women currently use to claim equal pay from supermarkets and the latter is a right that all workers and employed people enjoy.”
The government has confirmed the First Reading in Parliament of the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill is scheduled to take place on 11 October 2022. Given the complexity of employment law, and that the end of 2023 is not so far away, it may be likely that the extension power will be needed to retain certain regulations whilst discussions take place regarding the suitable replacement.
If you need assistance or advice on the contents of this article, please contact the Employment Team at Thackray Williams LLP 020 8290 0440.
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