STOP PRESS - Government announces changes to employment law

Call 0345 872 6666

STOP PRESS - Government announces changes to employment law

Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill

Last week the Government’s announced that it was abandoning its plans for a so-called ‘sunset’ clause within the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill, meaning EU law will now remain binding in the UK unless it is expressly repealed by Parliament.

Shortly after that announcement the Government indicated which EU laws it intends to expressly repeal with effect from 31 December 2023. Those relating to employment law include:

  • The Community Drivers’ Hours and Working Time (Road Tankers) (Temporary Exception) (Amendment) Regulations 2006;
  • The Posted Workers (Enforcement of Employment Rights) Regulations 2016; and
  • The Posted Workers (Agency Workers) Regulations 2020.

These are fairly ‘niche’ provisions and will affect very few employers. However, it is likely that the express repeal of further legislation will be announced in due course. Following its initial announcement, the Government has released a list of the following areas of employment law that it intends to preserve:

  • Part-Time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000
  • Transnational Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations 1999
  • Agency Workers Regulations 2010
  • Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations 2004
  • The Maternity and Parental Leave Regulations 1999
  • The Paternity and Adoption Leave Regulations 2002
  • Transnational Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations 1999
  • Parts of the Working Time Regulations
  • Parts of the TUPE Regulations

Restrictive Covenants

The Government has also made a further announcement on proposals to introduce new legislation which will place limits on the duration of non-compete restrictive covenants. The proposed period is 3 months.

The Government had previously published a consultation paper back in 2020 aimed at addressing the law relating to restrictive covenants. It made the following proposals in that consultation paper:

  • To make non-compete clauses enforceable only where employers provide compensation for the duration of the clause, with a view to introducing additional transparency measures and statutory limits on the duration of non-compete clauses.
  • To make post-termination non-compete clauses unenforceable.

It appears that they have opted to move away from these proposals, as the proposed new legislation announced last week intends to still allow employers to restrict activities during periods of garden leave or notice periods which are paid, and as such, the three-month limit will only apply to post-termination covenants. Further, the new legislation will have no impact on non-solicitation and non-dealing clauses or confidentiality clauses.

Despite the announcement of the Government’s intentions, the timeline for the new legislation remains unclear. Therefore, it is likely to be some time before this would come into effect.

This article is for general guidance only and should not be used for any other purpose. It does not constitute and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

If you would like to discuss this article or any recruitment issue in more detail, please contact Paul Chamberlain of JMW Solicitors LLP either by email at or by telephone on 0161 838 2762.

Did you find this post interesting? Share it on:

Related Posts