As we start to scrape the barrel for new Brexit-related puns for your entertainment, the Government have announced even more changes following the controversial U-turn on the sunset clause and large-scale bonfire of retained EU law previously anticipated from the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill. In case you missed it, you can read more about the U-turn in our earlier blog here.

In previous reports, we saw that Kemi Badenoch, secretary of state for business and trade, had decided to instead commit to a list of retained EU laws that she would repeal before the end of the year. It was expected that the repeal of a number of these laws would be uncontroversial (which would be refreshing for a Brexit announcement!)

The list has now been announced and can be found here.

So which employment laws are up for the chop?

Of note the following (rather niche) pieces of legislation have made the cut:

  • The Community Drivers’ Hours and Working Time (Road Tankers) (Temporary Exception) (Amendment) Regulations 2006 – this was a piece of legislation which granted a temporary exception to maximum driving period limits for road tankers.
  • The Posted Workers (Enforcement of Employment Rights) Regulations 2016 – these regulations were brought in following the Posted Workers Directive. This directive provided that workers who were posted to perform temporary work in other member states in the EU should enjoy the protection of a minimum amount of employment rights available to other workers in a host country.
  • The Posted Workers (Agency Workers) Regulations 2020 – similar to the Enforcement of Employment Rights regulations, these regulations added the requirement to provide an express obligation for a hirer to inform an agency of the posting of an agency worker.

How much does this affect us?

Arguably – not a lot!

The Road Tankers legislation had already expired in any event and so not much change is associated with that repeal.

In relation to the Posted Workers regulations, in the UK-EU trade and co-operation agreement signed in 2020, both parties agreed not to weaken or reduce their labour or social standards below the levels in place at the end of the transition period in a manner affecting trade or investment. It will therefore be interesting to see the implications of this repeal in practice, but it is expected that there won’t be much change in this respect for posted workers.

All in all, the big pieces of employment legislation remain, save for the proposed amendments to TUPE and the Working Time Regulations which were announced yesterday. We covered these changes in our earlier blog which you can read here.

All of this being said this should not necessarily be considered a ‘win’ for the remainers out there. I am sure that this is only the beginning for the Government, who potentially want to get the easy stuff out of the way first before getting into the nitty gritty. However, there will hopefully be more of a sensible and considered approach to any further amendments and repeals going forward, which will be welcomed by businesses and employers across the country.

What about other areas of law?

For the key sectors our organisational clients work in social housing, local government, health and social care, social business, charities and education there is nothing significant changing as yet, albeit some concern regarding the potential of reducing environmental protections regarding water and air quality.

Needless to say, we are hoping that they don’t do anything else soon to give us more time to think of witty titles!