Reversal of proposed sunsetting of EU legislation

Posted on May 22nd, 2023

Those of you who attended one of our Management Updates in Autumn 2022 may recall the personnel update regarding the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill. This bill makes provision for significant changes to retained EU law. It also included a sunset clause, whereby all EU-derived subordinate legislation and retained direct EU legislation would be revoked at the end of 2023, unless the government decided to preserve a piece of legislation.

This would have had a potentially major impact on employment law, including TUPE, regulations protecting part-time and fixed-term workers, and The Maternity and Parental Leave Regulations.

On 10 May 2023, however, the government announced that it was scrapping the proposed sunset clause from the bill. This has been replaced by a revocation schedule, which sets out at least 600 pieces of retained EU law. Any laws not listed in this schedule will automatically be retained.

The Law Society welcomes this step but has stated that they still have concerns about the bill, in particular, parliamentary scrutiny of affected laws. Another area of concern it has is the potential impact on workers’ rights, including holiday pay and the protection against fire and rehire. The Law Society is continuing to work with other civil society organisations and to engage with those in parliament as the bill progresses.

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