Employment Insight: What’s next?

22 September 2022

Employment Law: What's next?

Now the national period of mourning for Queen Elizabeth II has come to an end, the UK's focus has turned to the new British Prime Minister's plans to kickstart economic growth.  So, what might employers expect from this Friday's emergency mini budget and from pledges the new PM, Liz Truss, has made?

Taxes and the Mini budget

The key focus of this Friday's mini budget is expected to be cuts to tax, with the following tax cuts all anticipated or in contention:

  1. A reversal, with immediate effect, of the National Insurance increase of 1.25% for working age employees, their employers and the self-employed that took effect in April 2022
  2. A review of the tax system with possible cuts to income tax
  3. There could be reference to possible tax breaks for people who take time out of work for caring responsibilities
  4. Cancelling next April's planned corporation tax hike

Employment Laws

There has been much speculation about what Liz Truss will propose with respect to current employment laws, with media reports of a possible "bonfire of workers' rights".  What do we know so far?

  1. Repeal or reform of EU law - Liz Truss has said she will retain the previous Government's commitment to review all retained EU laws and repeal or replace any that are deemed to be holding back the economy by the end of 2023 via the forthcoming (but, as yet unpublished) “Brexit Freedoms Bill".  It appears that Ms Truss intends to dramatically accelerate the deadline of June 2026 which had previously been suggested. Employment laws likely to be affected by this proposal, include the Working Time Regulations (which fixes maximum weekly and daily working hours and minimum holiday entitlement), Agency Worker Regulations, TUPE and various health and safety regulations.
  2. IR35 - Ms Truss also pledged that there would be a government review of IR35 regulations. Proposed IR35 reforms for the private sector took effect from April 2021 and represented a significant change to employment tax.
  3. Union laws - Ms Truss has said that she will propose legislation within 30 days of becoming prime minister making it more difficult for industrial action to take place
  4. In the last few days it has been suggested that the Government plans to remove the cap on bankers' bonuses
  5. Seasonal Worker visa scheme – In keeping with many other countries, the UK is currently experiencing a labour shortage. In May this year, there were more job vacancies than unemployed people in the UK for the first time since records began and certain sectors such as agriculture have been particularly badly affected.

Back to news