Employment Law changes to expect in 2023

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Some significant changes are coming to UK Employment Law in 2023. Having left the European Union, the government has announced that all previously retained EU laws will be reassessed and amended where necessary. There are expected to be significant changes to employment rights and obligations, and the government has advised that employers and employees should prepare for contract and policy changes. 

What is retained EU law?

Retained EU law refers to the snapshot of EU laws in force within the UK when we first left the European Union. It was always expected that retained EU law would be reviewed, amended and adapted over time. 

What is happening?

By the end of 2023, the UK government aims to abolish all EU law that is not specifically reinstated or replaced. This will affect a number of EU-derived secondary legislation, including the Working Time Regulations, Agency Worker Regulations and TUPE. 

Under the new retained EU law (Revocation and Reform) Bill 2022-23, it is expected that the government will: 

  • Amend or replace current Retained EU Laws, or revoke them altogether
  • Give greater priority to UK domestic law over Retained EU laws
  • Abolish the general principles of the EU Law where EU and UK principles are conflicting
  • Renaming of Retained EU Law as ‘Assimilated Law’ to reflect that EU interpretive features no longer apply

What timescale will these reforms be completed by?

Whilst the current deadline for this is the end of 2023, many have raised concerns that it doesn’t seem like enough time. Currently, there are over 300 policy areas and 21 sectors of the UK affected by the body of retained EU Law that will be reviewed. This reassessment will therefore be no mean feat, and is expected to take a very long time. 


Are there any other Employment Law changes coming in 2023?

Alongside the significant changes arising due to the aforementioned bill, there are a number of other changes to UK Employment Law that are set to come into effect during 2023. 

Flexible Working 

As it stands, an employee must have worked for 26 weeks before they can make a flexible working request, and a request can only be made once a year. Meanwhile, the employer must notify the employee of the decision within three months. However, the government passed the Employment Rights (Flexible Working) Bill on the 28th of October 2022 – which will now ensure employees are able to request flexible working from day 1 of employment, that they can make up to two requests a year, and that employers should respond to these requests within two months. This law is expected to come into effect in 2023. 

What is ‘Flexible Working’?

According to the government, flexible working is a way of working that suits an employee’s needs, for example, having flexible start and finish times, or working from home.

Carer’s Leave Bill

There are proposed the introduction of a day-one right for up to five working days of unpaid leave for employees with long-term caring responsibilities of a dependant. Dependents typically include partners, children, parents, and people living in the same house as the employee or who reasonably rely on the employee for care. 

Employees will be required to give notice that is twice the length of the leave required, and the time can be taken as partial or full days. Businesses and employers will need to be aware that if the bill is passed – dismissal on the basis of this leave will automatically be classed as unfair dismissal. The next update on this bill will be on the 3rd of February, 2023, when it is set to undergo the report stage of the process.

Tip Allocation

The Employment (Allocation of Tips) Bill is currently scheduled for discussion on the 20th of January, 2023.  Whilst it is currently legal for employers to take a percentage of the tips earned by staff, the proposed bill states it is unlawful for employers not to provide 100% of the tips to their employees. If these changes do come into place, it is estimated they will benefit over one million workers nationwide. 

For now, our advice to employers and businesses is to keep an eye out for changes in the news during early 2023 – and be prepared for impact to future recruitment, cash flow and work schedules. 

If you’d like more information or would like to get in touch with our team regarding Employment Law, give our team of expert solicitors a call on 01282 433 241.