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Sunday, September 24, 2023

UK: Authorities publicizes plans for post-Brexit employment legislation reform

Replace: On 12 Could the Authorities printed session paperwork together with additional particulars of the proposed reforms – see our publish right here.

The Secretary of State for the Division for Enterprise and Commerce, Kemi Badenoch MP, has right now issued a written assertion saying that the Authorities will exchange the present sundown within the Retained EU Regulation Invoice with a listing of the retained EU legal guidelines that it intends to revoke below the Invoice on the finish of 2023 (together with only some employment rules regarding posted employees and short-term exceptions for street transport drivers’ hours – see right here). Different legal guidelines will stay on the statute books till there’s time for correct evaluation and session.  Our Past Brexit weblog publish protecting this improvement is right here.

Ms Badenoch MP has additionally introduced that the primary in a sequence of reform packages aimed toward ‘leveraging post-Brexit regulatory freedoms’ will deal with employment legislation ‘the place there is a chance to enhance regulation following our departure from the EU, while sustaining UK labour requirements that are among the highest on this planet’.

The coverage paper right here units out the next proposals; laws might be launched ‘when Parliamentary time permits’.

Non-compete clauses

The Authorities proposes limiting the size of non-compete clauses to three months.  The coverage paper states that this won’t intervene with the flexibility of employers to make use of (paid) discover intervals or backyard depart, non-solicitation clauses or confidentiality clauses (although it doesn’t point out non-dealing clauses).  This follows a session on a broader vary of doable reforms in 2020-2021 (see our weblog publish right here).  With so little element obtainable, there are significantly extra questions than solutions at this stage (for instance, to what extent will it apply retrospectively to current contracts, will backyard depart should be set-off towards the three month interval, will the Authorities prioritise pushing this reform by means of …) – however it’s definitely one to observe given the possibly very important impression on employers in sectors the place 6 or 12 month non-competes are market observe.


Presently employers with no applicable worker representatives can solely inform and seek the advice of staff instantly in relation to a TUPE switch the place they make use of fewer than 10 staff in complete. The Authorities will seek the advice of on broadening the exemption to small companies (with fewer than 50 staff in complete) and transfers affecting fewer than 10 staff.

Working Time Laws

The Authorities intends to reform the Working Time Laws this yr and might be consulting on proposals to

  • take away the requirement for employers to maintain information of all people’ working hours. This obligation is derived from EU case-law (see our weblog publish right here); the UK rules solely expressly require ‘sufficient information’ to point out whether or not the weekly working cut-off dates (save for individuals who have opted out) and evening work limits are being complied with. We’re not conscious of the HSE having modified its enforcement strategy to replicate the EU case-law, so many employers won’t have modified their observe to replicate the case-law anyway, however reform would a minimum of take away any issues.
  • decreasing the executive burden and complexity of calculating vacation pay by (i) introducing rolled-up vacation pay (one other observe that some employers have continued to make use of on the premise that it was essentially the most sensible answer for atypical employees, regardless of being illegal below EU case-law), and (ii) merging the present 4 weeks EU-derived annual depart entitlement with the extra 1.6 weeks statutory annual depart, presumably in order that each varieties could be handled constantly by way of pay in lieu, carry-over, and many others.

To debate the implications of those proposals additional please do get in contact along with your typical HSF contact.

Anna Henderson

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