Retained EU Law Bill: will your employee’s working rights change?

  • Employment Law
James Potts - Legal Services Director at Peninsula

James Potts, Legal Services Director

(Last updated )

Most of the UK’s EU-derived laws are set to automatically expire at the end of 2023. So, current employment rights are at risk of getting the axe unless the government creates new UK laws to keep them or take their place.

This leaves the future of employment law in turmoil. We don’t yet know what will happen, but we do know the existing framework of employment rights - like the 48-hour maximum working week and the minimum paid annual leave - could all be set to change.

To find out how this could affect you and your workforce, here’s what you need to know about the update…

What is the Retained EU Law Bill?

Now the UK has left the EU, the government has introduced the ‘Retained EU Law Bill’. A retained EU law is essentially a copy of the EU law that the UK followed as a member of the EU. This bill means all existing EU laws will expire by a certain date unless the government takes steps to keep or change them.

This deadline (also known as a sunset clause) is 31st December 2023. So, if the government hasn’t taken action to keep an affected law by this date, it will automatically expire.

What’s likely to change?

Currently, the laws that seem most likely to change are:

  • TUPE (protection of employment when a business transfers or there’s a change in service provisions)
  • Working Time Regulations (including the 48-hour maximum working week, minimum rest periods, and paid leave entitlements)
  • Agency Worker, Fixed-Term, and Part-Time Worker regulations (giving basic rights to agency workers and those who work on a fixed-term or part-time basis)

Who is this most likely to affect?

UNISON’s head of legal services Shantha David says working women are most at risk if EU laws expire.

This is because they may lose out on maternity protections. They may also be doubly affected if they have part-time and fixed-term roles.

So, what do I need to do to prepare?

Whilst we don’t yet know what the changes will be, it’s still important to stay updated as the bill passes through Parliament. Because when the time comes, your documentation will need to line up with the new legislation or you’ll be at legal risk.

It might be the case that for any new rules that come in, your contractual clauses make it difficult to make the necessary changes for existing staff. Whatever happens, you’ll need to review your current policies and contracts. But don’t worry, your adviser will make sure you’re safe from risk.

For advice on how to navigate important legal updates, call us today. And if you’re not yet a Peninsula client, call 0800 029 4384 for a free consultation with a HR expert.

Related articles

  • A man in a suit reading from a tablet while in an office setting

    Blog

    Strike action contributes to 0.5% shrink in UK economy

    The UK economy contracted by 0.5% in July, with falls in all three main sectors, according to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS)

    Peninsula Team Peninsula Team
    • Business Advice
  • Director loses £80k tax appeal

    Blog

    Director loses £80k tax appeal

    A director has lost a First Tier Tribunal (FTT) appeal against penalties charged by HMRC for VAT and corporation tax inaccuracies, which totalled £80,666.31.

    Peninsula TeamPeninsula Team
    • Employment Law
  • colleagues gathered round a laptop

    Blog

    Here’s what I know: AI should assist not ascend

    Is AI a good thing? Or is its growing popularity something for us to worry about?

    Peter DoneGroup Managing Director and Founder
    • Data Protection
Back to resource hub

Try Brainbox for free today

When AI meets 40 years of Peninsula expertise... you get instant, expert answers to your HR and health & safety questions

Sign up to our newsletter

Get the latest news & tips that matter most to your business in our monthly newsletter.

International sites

© 2023 Peninsula Business Services Limited. Registered Office: The Peninsula, Victoria Place, Manchester, M4 4FB. Registered in England and Wales No: 1702759. Peninsula Business Services Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority for the sale of non-investment insurance contracts.

ISO 27001 and 9001 accredited company.
The Sunday Times - Top Track 250.
Glassdoor 2018 Best Places To Work.