Brexit and employment law
Last month saw the tabling in the House of Commons of the EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill. If brought into force, the Bill provides that all EU derived legislation will fall away unless it is specifically retained by a certain date (December 2023, with the option to extend until December 2026). That means that employment law staples, including TUPE, part-time/fixed-term worker regulations and holiday pay rules may disappear. The government will decide which laws it wants to retain. There is no indication yet of what’s likely to be in and out.
This move ends the previous position of EU law supremacy over domestic legislation. In the government’s own words, the aim is to ‘restore primacy to Acts of Parliament’. There are also provisions to give the courts more power to depart from retained EU law and to downgrade EU law so it doesn’t have the same status as domestic Acts of Parliament.
While Remainers may mourn in principle, employment law practitioners may secretly hope that change in some areas of law, such as TUPE, may help to bring legislative clarity to previously complex and litigious area of employment law.