Revoking and reforming EU law

The Government has published the Retained EU Revocation and Reform Bill which, if passed, provides for the revocation of all “EU-derived subordinate legislation” (i.e. UK statutory instruments which were introduced to implement EU law) and retained direct EU legislation on 31 December 2023, unless legislation is specifically introduced to save them.

23 September 2022

The Government has published the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill which, if passed, provides for the revocation of all “EU-derived subordinate legislation” (i.e. UK statutory instruments which were introduced to implement EU law) and retained direct EU legislation on 31 December 2023, unless legislation is specifically introduced to save them.  There is the potential for the 2023 deadline to be extended, although any such extension cannot be later than 23 June 2026.  The proposed Bill also removes any supremacy of EU law so that when a court or a tribunal applies the law in any case, they would no longer be guided by matters of EU interpretation.

This Bill has the potential to have significant employment law implications and is a fundamental change in approach from the current position of employment legislation remaining as is unless actively amended, to substantial pieces of legislation ceasing to have effect unless active steps are taken to preserve them.  Perhaps most notable of these in the employment context would be legislation relating to working time, agency workers, part-time workers and TUPE.  At this stage, there is only speculation as to which would be retained – and there may well be tensions between the apparent desire to remove restrictions on UK businesses with the maintenance of a “level playing field” with the EU.  A period of uncertainty for employers and employees alike is ahead.

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Sarah Hooton

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sarah.hooton@brownejacobson.com

+44 (0)115 976 6033

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