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Not such a Sunset Employment Landscape for Northern Ireland

Earlier this year in July 2023, the consultation period for the Retained EU Employment Law Bill (sometimes called the Brexit Freedoms Bill) closed. The possible sunset clause that would have revoked all EU law in one go has now been scrapped, meaning that it will be more minor but still far-reaching changes that will become cemented into the employment law landscape on 31 December 2023.

Sun setting on employment landscape
Sunset Employment Landscape

These changes are intended to extend to Northern Ireland. However, as you know, with no functioning Executive, or Assembly - there is no clarity for us as employers on what the Assembly will consider needs to apply to Northern Ireland and then decide on what to actually implement. In normal circumstances when it comes to implementing EU directives, we would have at least two years to get ready. We once again face an ambiguous legislative landscape - in not knowning what to prepare for.

Some of the changes in Central Governments calendar include the following: - 

Holiday entitlement and rolled-up Holiday pay and TUPE changes to come into force as early as 1 January 2024.

Miscarriage leave bill - looks to introduce three days of paid leave for people who have experienced baby loss before 24 weeks as, under current legislation, those going through the loss are not entitled to any paid leave.

Carer's Leave Act - looks to cement the rights of those who balance work with caring responsibilities.

Flexible Working Act - Employers will be required to consider any flexible working requests and provide a reason before rejection.

Maximum working hours: The proposal is to remove the requirement to maintain records showing the average time of each worker.

If you are interested in discussing and planning for how these change may impact your business - please get in touch.


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