In a statement released on 10 May 2023, the Government has announced that it is abandoning the ‘sunset’ clause in the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill (“the Bill”).

As detailed in our blog published earlier this year, the Bill’s ‘sunset’ clause provided that all EU-derived secondary and retained direct EU legislation would be automatically revoked at the end of 2023 save where it was expressly ‘saved’. For a more in-depth analysis of the Bill, please read our detailed blog.

In light of “risks of legal uncertainty”, the Government announced that it will scrap this ‘sunset’ clause. This U-turn effectively means that all retained EU law will remain binding after 31 December 2023 unless individual pieces of retained legislation are expressly repealed.

Subsequent to this announcement, the Government has already published a list of around 600 statutory instruments which are intended to be repealed at the end of 2023. Out of those 600 already announced none will have a significant impact on employment law in the UK but we will keep the position under review.

Separate to the Bill, the Government has also announced that it intends to make “improvements to employment law which could help save businesses around £1 billion a year, while safeguarding the rights of workers” and that it will “consult on cutting unnecessary red tape on recording working hours, streamline engagement with workers when a business transfers to new owners, and provide up to 5 million UK workers greater freedom to switch jobs by limiting non-compete clauses”. Those proposals would be significant and will be the subject of a separate blog.

If you would like to discuss how this update could affect you or your business, please do not hesitate to contact Linky Trott or any other member of the Employment team.

Please note that this blog is provided for general information only. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content of this blog.

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