The Retained EU Law Bill was first discussed in Parliament in September 2022 and seems to have done a good job of sneaking under the radar for most employers. Whilst it has a number of stages to go through before it becomes law, and indeed that might not even happen, if it does the Bill has the potential to radically change employment law in the UK. Whilst changes in the law are nothing new, this Bill has the potential to bring about huge changes which employers should keep an eye on.
If the Bill is approved we could see changes to:
The 48-hour working week
Agency Workers Regulations
Part-time and fixed-term worker rules
Paid annual holiday rules
Although these areas are likely to be affected by the Bill, it's not yet 100% clear how they'll be affected. The Government might choose to tweak or change them but no decisions have been made on what the potential changes could look like. Rights contained within primary legislation, like the Equality Act, won't be affected by this Bill.
The Bill will have the effect of 'sunsetting' the majority of retained EU Law by either December 2023 or June 2026. This could mean that secondary legislation contained in regulations (like the ones listed above) will expire unless the Government choose to do something specific to keep them, such as setting new domestic laws which cover these elements. The Bill, if approved, may also have an effect on the supremacy of EU Law.
What is EU Supremacy?
Sometimes known as 'precedence' or 'primacy' the supremacy of EU Law is the basic idea that when dealing with a legal issue if there is a conflict between EU Law and the law of a specific country then EU Law should come out on top.
If approved, the Bill would give UK courts more flexibility to depart from EU case law when making decisions on cases.
We love employment law at Tap HR, so we'll keep you posted on any developments!
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All information within this post is provided for guidance only, always seek your own legal advice
The information with this post was correct at the time of publishing, October 2022 but may be subject to change