• Restrictive covenants: In 2021, the government consulted on whether restrictive covenants, also known as non-compete clauses, should be unenforceable or enforceable only when compensation is provided during the term of the clause. The consultation closed some time ago (on 26 February 2021) but we think it is possible that we may see this back on the agenda in 2023. As always, it will depend on sufficient parliamentary time being available and the government’s willingness to focus on such issues. We are also still awaiting further news in relation to the government’s 2019 consultation on confidentiality clauses and non-disclosure agreements. Draft legislation in this regard is still awaited and again we may see it introduced in 2023, if parliamentary time allows.
  • Future of work review: Matt Warman MP led a review into the Future of Work during Spring and Summer 2022. The first phase was a high-level assessment of the key strategic issues.  The subsequent report recommended that the government consider four areas in detail: artificial intelligence and automation; skills; place and flexibility; and workers’ rights. Phase two is anticipated in the new year, with the focus expected to be on a more detailed assessment of these four specific areas.
  •  ‘Fire and re-hire‘: Finally, following mounting criticism of dismissal and re-engagement practices during the Covid-19 pandemic, (otherwise known as ‘fire and re-hire’ tactics), BEIS’ publication of a draft statutory code of practice to address the practice of firing and rehiring is still widely anticipated and 2023 may well be the year when this comes to fruition.

Even just one of these potential legislative developments could alter employment law in quite a big way so we suggest you continue to look out for our future updates.