Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill
Despite the uninspiring title, this may be one of the most important pieces of legislation to arise since the 1970s and the advent of discrimination and dismissal laws. This Bill was published on 22 September 2022 and, by its nature, will automatically repeal any retained EU law so that it expires on 31 December 2023 unless specific legislation is introduced to retain it. This date can be extended until 31 December 2026.
As a result of the Bill, we cannot anticipate which legislation may be disappearing by 31 December 2023. Some of the legislation that could be affected is:
- Paid annual leave;
- 48 hour working week;
- Part-time and fixed-term worker Regulations; and
- Agency Worker Regulations
All of these provide valuable rights for workers in the UK and could have untold consequences for business sales/acquisitions and cross-border work. The retention of this legislation will be dependent on the relevant minister at the time and their views/desires on retaining or disposing of these frameworks. There is a great deal at stake with so many unknowns and unanswered questions. Given the current state of flux that the UK Government finds itself in, who knows what might happen when the Retained EU Law Bill is in full effect.
The aim is for the Government to be able to proclaim that it rid the statute books of all EU law following Brexit. Commentators do not believe this will be really true and elements, in some guise or another, will remain. If this is not the case, chaos will ensue. That is for certain.
All we can say is watch this space very carefully. Nothing is a given, vigilance is a must.