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Since our blog in October 2022, the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill – informally referred to as the “Brexit Freedoms Bill” – has been progressing through parliament. The third reading of the bill took place on 18 January 2023 and is now with the House of Lords for their consideration.
The bill will ‘sunset’ certain categories of retained EU law by 31 December 2023 unless restated or replaced. This means EU law will no longer take priority over domestic UK legislation, allowing domestic courts wider discretion to depart from EU case law.
Since its introduction in September 2022, commentators have expressed concern about the uncertainty this bill will bring. The impact on employment law has been of particular focus, with some referring to it as a potential “bonfire” of employment rights. This means Working Time Regulations, TUPE, Maternity and Parental Leave Regulations and Agency Worker Regulations will all be affected.
It remains difficult to predict to what extent the bill will impact employment law. At present, there is significant uncertainty for both employers and employees, with many concerned about the potential cost and delay that could arise from this bill.
Despite the uncertainty caused by this bill, it could provide an opportunity to reform areas of UK employment law. This could include complex areas such as the Working Time Regulations which has faced wide scrutiny, particularly in light of the recent Supreme Court decision in Harpur Trust v Brazel  UKSC 21 which led to a government consultation on holiday entitlement calculations for atypical workers.
If you have any questions about this bill and how it may impact you or your business, our Employment team are here to help. Please either use the contact form on the right, email us at email@example.com or call us on 01484 821 500 to speak to a member of our team.