30 second summary of the Great Repeal Bill for employment specialists

Great Repeal Bill - White Paper published 

The government has published a White paper on The Great Repeal Bill. The paper was published on 30th March and the Bill will

  • Repeal the European Communities Act,
  • Convert  directly applicable EU legislation into domestic UK law
  • Preserve the laws we have made in the UK to implement obligations under EU Directives  (e.g the Equality Act)
  • Create powers (by means of secondary legislation) to correct laws  which would not operate appropriately when we leave the EU. The paper estimates 800 to 1000 statutory instruments will be required
  • On questions of interpretation of EU derived law, provide that historic CJEU case law be given the same precedent status in UK courts as decisions of the Supreme Court. This is partly directed at protecting worker's rights where they have been extended by CJEU judgements.

The government has also published  Guidance for businesses on the Great Repeal Bill

For employment law alone this is a gargantuan task - For example, EU laws will not simply slide into UK laws as they are written in a much more purposeful style than UK statutes and there is a large body of case law on the differences between some EU law and UK law (e.g The Working Time Directive/Working Time Regulations) and  those conflicts will not be resolved without political and legal argument.