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Bonfire of EU Legislation

June 2023

As expected, the UK government has scrapped a promised completion of a post-Brexit "bonfire" of remaining retained EU law by the end of the year under a ‘sunset’ clause in the EU retained law bill.  It fell to Business Secretary, Kemi Badenoch, to make the announcement, saying that the government would now revoke around 600 laws under their planned legislation, rather than the promised 4,000.

Jacob Rees-Mogg has accused Prime Minister Rishi Sunak of having broken his promise to revoke EU laws and this move will undoubtedly play badly with arch-Brexiters in the Conservative party. However, this automatic scrapping of the laws has attracted criticism from a variety of organisations, with the CIPD, TUC and the Institute of Directors all expressing concern about the widespread, unknown and unpredictable consequences  of such a move.  Given that the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill potentially meant the immediate revocation of the Working Time Regulations, TUPE and regulations relating to part time and fixed term employees, the decision to change direction will be welcome to most employers.

Under the changed approach announced by Badenoch, the sunsetting provision will be replaced by a specific list of EU legislation that the government intends to revoke at the end of this year. The full list can be found here:


Even though the sunset clause has been abandoned, Badenoch announced a proposed round of legal changes to employment legislation now that the UK has left the EU and these will be the subject of consultation.

The proposed changes are:

  • Merging ‘normal’ holiday pay, i.e. the minimum holiday of four weeks of leave required by the Working Time Regulations, with the additional leave of 1.6 weeks to create one ‘pot’ of annual leave
  • Allowing ‘rolled-up’ holiday pay so workers can receive holiday pay with every payslip, rather than at the time holiday is taken
  • Removing the requirement under the Working Time Regulations to keep ‘adequate’ records of working hours 
  • In respect of TUPE Regulations, removing the requirement to consult with elected representatives for businesses with fewer than 50 people and transfers affecting less than 10 employees
  • Limiting the length of non-compete restrictive covenant clauses to three months.

There is no timetable for these changes.  Simply-Docs will update documents if and when these proposed changes are introduced.

The contents of this Newsletter are for reference purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Independent legal advice should be sought in relation to any specific legal matter.

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