Brexit – Employment Law Changes

The Government has recently announced their intention to make some changes to the UK’s employment laws as a result of Brexit. These include changes to TUPE Regulations for small businesses, limiting non-compete clauses to three months and removing reporting requirements from the Working Time Regulations 1998, as well as making a u-turn on the planned “sunset clause” in the Retained EU Law:

TUPE changes

There is currently a requirement to consult with appointed representatives where there are fewer than 50 employees in the business and fewer than 10 transferees. The government intends to remove this requirement, which will likely be of limited impact to businesses. This would mean that any business with up to 49 employees, and up to 9 transferees, would not need to have an employee representative for the purpose of consultation.

Non-compete clauses

It is the government’s view that many non-compete clauses, whilst having an important role in protecting business who invest in their workers, have become unnecessarily complex and a default in many employment contracts and limit workers from finding better paid roles. The government’s intention is to limit the length of non-compete clauses to three months, which will likely positively affect up to 5 million UK workers.

Working Time Regulations

This proposal will remove the requirement to keep working time records for almost all members of staff.

It also intends to allow “rolled-up holiday pay”, which is currently unlawful under EU law, and proposes to merge basic and additional annual leave entitlements into one.

Sunset clause

As things stand, the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill states that all EU law will be automatically revoked at the end of 2023, unless the government passes new legislation to preserve EU legislation. This is referred to as the “sunset clause”.

The government have decided to reverse this clause so that all EU law will remain in force in the UK unless it is repealed. The Bill will contain a list of any retained EU laws that will be revoked but anything not contained in that list will stay.

Whilst these changes are not yet in force, some are likely to take effect shortly and they are likely to affect most workers.

If you would like more information about the changes addressed in this article or any other aspect of employment law, please contact us on 02920 345511 or at