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  • HR Heartbeat: Major EU laws are now being changed-here's what you need to know!

HR Heartbeat: Major EU laws are now being changed-here's what you need to know!

The latest employment news has landed! We knew that Brexit meant that the government could remove or change current laws, but now it’s happening. This week we cover the first set of EU law changes that will affect your workplace.

First published on Monday, May 15, 2023

Last updated on Monday, May 15, 2023

3 min read

Have you heard the latest news?

Welcome to HR Heartbeat, where we give you a rundown of the week's top employment law stories. This week the government announced its position on the review of EU-derived laws and released the first set of changes that could impact your business.

Government confirms U-turn in EU law review

It has recently been announced that the UK government will keep all laws derived from the EU, unless it takes action to remove them. This is a change from their previous plan, which stated that all affected laws would expire by December 31, 2023, unless steps were taken to keep them.

As a result, it’s unlikely there will be significant alterations to employment law. And while there are no plans to eliminate major employment laws, we are likely to see some changes that could impact your staff and your business.

So, here’s what we know so far…

Working time laws to change

The Working Time Regulations 1998 is set to undergo some changes, which could potentially alter the current application of case law on annual leave.

Currently, the 5.6 week statutory minimum leave is divided into 4 weeks of 'EU' leave and 1.6 weeks of 'domestic' leave. The proposed change will merge both of these annual leave entitlements into one.

Another change will be the removal of the obligation to keep records on rest periods. However, there is no official implementation date for these modifications.

Rolled-up holiday pay is coming back

When you take a holiday, you are entitled to holiday pay, right?

In the past, employers used to include part of your holiday pay on top of your hourly rate of pay in regular pay slips, which was known as rolled-up holiday pay. However, this practice is now illegal.

Nonetheless, there are talks of making it legal again, which would benefit individuals who work inconsistent hours for example employees on zero-hours contracts. Despite this, no official date has been announced for the potential change.

Need help with calculating holiday pay for your zero-hours contract workers?

TUPE consultation exemption to be widened

If a business changes hands, the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations—or TUPE for short, ensures that employees are protected. This law automatically transfers employees and their associated liabilities from the old employer to the new employer.

Currently, for a TUPE transfer, only businesses with 10 or fewer employees can skip the complex process of electing employee reps for consultations. A change is on the horizon that will allow businesses with less than 50 employees to also bypass this process. However, once again the implementation date is TBC.

Non-compete clauses to be restricted

Currently, businesses can impose restrictions on ex-employees from working for their competitors without any time limits, as long as it is considered reasonable. However, a new regulation is being proposed to limit such restrictions to a maximum of three months. Although the implementation date is yet to be confirmed, these changes are sure to come. So, stay up to date on the latest guidance to be prepared for any changes that may affect your employee contracts.

And that’s a wrap. Tune in next week for more headlines and make sure you stay ahead of major employment law changes!

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