Apr 20th, 2023
4 mins

The purpose of the Retained EU Law Bill is to enable the Government to revoke or reform EU Law retained following the departure of the UK from Europe at the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020.

It means that retained EU legislation will either be revoked completely or moved into existing or new UK legislation. The Bill seeks to impose a “Sunset Provision” (expiration date) of over 2,400 laws for the majority of EU legislation which will be 31 December 2023, as of which date will cease to have an effect.

What does this mean for health and safety law?

The legislation affected includes key health and safety legislation such as:

  • Work at Height Regulations 2005
  • Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (“CDM Regulations”)
  • Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998
  • Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
  • Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998
  • Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013

The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HSWA) is unaffected because it is domestic rather than EU law, so whatever happens to the regulations, organisations will still need to comply with their duties to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of employees and non-employees so far as reasonably practicable.

Taking just taking one example, the purpose of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 is to prevent death and injury caused by a fall from height. Statistics show that in 2004 there were 67 workplace fatalities from falls from height, and in 2022 this fell to 29. The Government is potentially planning to revoke at the end of 2023.


What does this mean for our members?

At this stage, it is unclear what the governments approach will be, whether it will revoke or amend these current regulations sitting under the primary HSWA.

Potentially, this could lead to uncertainty for organisations, these regulations give much detail of which many risk assessments and safe systems of work are based upon rather than the HSWA itself.

There may be changes made as the Bill makes its way through the House of Lords on the 19th April debate, which will include further guidance to businesses on the potential impact of these changes.

For more information contact


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