2 days ago
Wholesale repeal of EU Law is cancelled (for now)
It was earlier announced that the government would repeal all EU law on 31st December 23 as part of the Brexit process.
This is now cancelled and instead there will be a list of specific laws to be repealed on that date, but no one yet knows what that list will contain. Anything not on the list will need to be repealed piece by piece.
Employment law changes that we do know about
There has been an announcement that three specific points of interest to HR practitioners will be addressed in the not too distant future (no firm date yet). These are two changes to Working Time Regulations and one to TUPE.
Working Time Regulations
The intention is to remove the need for employer record keeping under the Working Time Regulations. The extent of this change has not been made clear, so for the interim, you should continue to keep records. In fact, as a matter of common sense, if you already have the facility or system in place to keep such records, it is wise to continue doing so even if the requirement disappears.
Rolled up holiday pay will now be permitted, which will come as a surprise to those who have continued doing it anyway.
There is also a small technical point on removing the difference between normal and additional leave, which is of no practical day to day importance for those who attempt to comply with the existing regime.
On any transfer of undertaking, (sale of business or change in contractor) there is a requirement, if the employer has over 10 employees, to consult elected reps. We are often surprised by how many employers think this is just a need to consult staff. The penalty of being found guilty of failing to elect reps with whom to consult is 90 days pay per employee. However, the small employer exemption is being extended now to any employer with less than 50 staff and less than 10 staff transferring.
These are not major parliamentary changes and while no date is set for the changes, they may happen with little further notice.
As these changes generally reduce the burden on employers, they will not be a cause for loss of sleep at this point, save for Union officials who will not be happy.
As the old regime may represent best practice and certainly safer practice for employers, the best advice at this point is make no changes to your normal practice on the back of this, and it is arguable that you should make no real changes day to day when these rules alter, in any event.
Specific Regulations to be Repealed
There are currently three regulations which are being repealed come 31st December 2023:
- The Community Drivers’ Hours and Working Time (Road Tankers) (Temporary Exception) Regulations 2006 – Deals specifically to Road Tanker Drivers and the hours they may drive in exceptional circumstances.
- The Posted Workers (Enforcement of Employment Rights) Regulations 2016 – Specific to workers who carry out work in EU member states other than their own for a limited time in the construction sector.
- The Posted Workers (Agency Workers) Regulations 2020 – In very similar fashion to Regulation 2 but is different in that this relates to agency workers being posted to work (for a limited time) in other EU member states (Thank you Daniel Barnett for bringing this to our attention).
The regulations intending to be repealed are very niche in terms of who they actually impact and would as a whole impact very little in the UK employment law sector in terms of practice.