It seems to be the direction of travel for the Truss Government and the task of radically reforming Britain’s labour market falls to the Business Secretary, Jacob Rees-Mogg.(JRM) 

Post Brexit the Unions and Workers’ Rights advocates  have been gravely concerned about a cull of existing worker’s rights after the UK left the European Union. Well that fear is becoming a reality and the wheels are already in motion.

Just a few of the suggestions on the table, muted by Jacob Rees-Mogg and his department are: 

  • Scrapping corporate gender pay gap reporting 
  • Removing the requirement for companies to speed up payments to smaller suppliers
  • Removing the Agency workers’ passage to full employment rights
  • Changes to holiday pay entitlement when calculating some overtime
  • Removal of the 48 hours working week -Working Time Directive 
  • Removal of the requirement for businesses to log employees working hours
  • Removal of employment rights from people earning more than £50,000
  • Tearing up of many of the protections enshrined in EU Law

When questioned Kwasi Kwarteng told MPs it was not true the Government wanted to “whittle down” labour market standards, but he said Britain’s departure from the EU provided an opportunity to assess which European regulations the UK should be retain before they expire on the 31st of December 2023.

The Prime Minister, Liz Truss has said she will not agree to interfering with holiday pay entitlement and given short shrift to some of Jacob Rees-Moggs more bizarre suggestions but getting rid of employment rights altogether for earners over £50,000 is still on the table. In practice though, they may increase the threshold towards those on £100,000. It is felt that people at this level have transferable skills and find work easier to secure. (No rights No notice! how very American) 

Whilst Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng are playing down these potential changes, largely because of the Unions and the current threat of mass industrial action; nevertheless the business department has been authorised by Downing Street to shake up employment legislation. 

So what’s behind all of this? 

“The time is now right to end the special status of retained EU Law in the UK statute book on 31st December 2023. The Bill will abolish this special status and will enable the Government, via Parliament to amend more easily, repeal and replace retained EU Law.22 Sept 2022”

If you want to read the The Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill 2022 click on the link below ????,and%20replace%20retained%20EU%20Law.

With a cost of living and energy crisis, the UK economy tanking, an increase in mortgage rates and the Tory conference in full swing, we will just have to wait and see what happens.