In a debate on the devolution on Employment Law to Scotland, the UK Government confirmed that it has no plans to devolve Employment Law to Scotland.
In the House of Commons on 6th September 2022, Jane Hunt MP, stated that:
‘The Government has no intention of devolving legislative competence for employment rights matters to the Scottish Government.’
Ms Hunt delivered several reasons as to why competence on Employment law matters would continue to be maintained by the UK Government. The most notable of these reasons being that to support the effectiveness of the labour market across Great Britain, the underlying legislative framework concerning rights and responsibilities needs to be ‘consistent and must not be devolved.’
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) continued that, in devolving competence to the Scottish Government could consequently create a two tier employment rights framework, which by design would burden businesses. Creating costs for employers who operate on both sides of the border, as knowledge of the difference in systems and different sets of policies would be required.
Ms Hunt highlighted further limitation that devolution may go some way in ‘suppressing the free flow of labour between England and Scotland’ limiting employers in finding the best employees for their business.
With such a firm stance from the UK Government, it is unlikely we will see any changes in the immediate future on this, however, the appetite of the Scottish Government for the devolution of Employment Law remains unfettered. For full notes on the debate please see: https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2022-09-06/debates/FFCB9964-7F07-4052-B384-6E047DFB81AE/EmploymentLawDevolutionToScotland