A new month is nearly upon us – which means some new laws are coming our way.
As quick as flash, summer is nearly over with September nearly here and children returning to school
Sepember 1 heralds the beginning of a raft of new laws too, including home improvements and aims to make households greener.
Our sister title BirminghamLive has wrapped up all the new laws and how you are impacted below, introducing each new bit of legislation which may impact you.
The new laws were announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick respectively.
It comes hot off the heels of the coronavirus lockdown and subsequent re-opening of sectors, with a push for workers to ditch home working and return to offices.
Here is the rundown:
The new rules, which will come into effect by September, will mean full planning applications will not be required to demolish and rebuild unused buildings as homes and commercial and retail properties can be quickly repurposed to help revive our high streets and town centres.
This will help our high streets and town centres to provide more space for new businesses and help them to adapt quickly to what consumers and businesses need.
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Homeowners will also be able to add up to 2 additional storeys to their home to create new homes or more living space for growing families through a fast track approval process, with a requirement to carefully consider the impact on neighbours and the appearance of the extension.
Mr Jenrick said: “We are reforming the planning system and cutting out unnecessary bureaucracy to give small business owners the freedom they need to adapt and evolve, and to renew our town centres with new enterprises and more housing.
“These changes will help transform boarded up, unused buildings safely into high quality homes at the heart of their communities. It will mean that families can add up to 2 storeys to their home, providing much needed additional space for children or elderly relatives as their household grows.”
Green home grants
The government grant will aim to cover at least two thirds of the cost of improvement, up to £5,000 per household, but some low income households will be able to get the entire cost covered, up to £10,000.
You need to also be installing insulation or low carbon heating at the same time to be eligible, however, and the vouchers can not be used to replace what is already in the property.
You can capitalise and get improvements on everything from double or triple glazing to energy efficient heating controls, and even insulation.
Announcing the scheme in the Commons, Mr Sunak said: “From September, homeowners and landlords will be able to apply for vouchers to make their homes more energy efficient and create local jobs.”
Furlough scheme changes
From August 1 employers had to start picking up pay national insurance (NI) and pension contributions for furloughed workers.
However bigger changes come into play from September as the government will pay 70% of wages up to a cap of £2,187.50 for the hours the employee is on furlough.
Employers will pay national insurance and pension contributions and top up employees’ wages to ensure they receive 80% of their wages up to a cap of £2,500, for time they are furloughed.
This will then lead to the final month of the scheme in October where the government will pay 60% of wages up to a cap of £1,875 for the hours the employee is on furlough.
Employers will pay national insurance and pension and top up employees’ wages to ensure they receive 80% of their wages up to a cap of £2,500, for time they are furloughed.
Extension on evictions
A four-week extension of the eviction ban has been confirmed, after the Government was warned that hundreds of thousands of renters could lose their homes.
Charities have said they fear mass evictions around Christmas if the Government does not give judges powers to stop automatic evictions of tenants affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
Renters have been protected during the crisis by a ban announced in March and extended in June, but it was due to end in England and Wales next week.
If lifted without extra protection, charities have warned that tens of thousands of outgoing tenants could be unable to access affordable homes, prompting a “devastating homelessness crisis”.
The move was confirmed in a letter to judges by Master of the Rolls Sir Terence Etherton after a meeting of the civil procedure rule committee (CPRC), which makes rules for county courts.
He said the extension would last until September 20.
Face mask guidance for children
Further guidance on face coverings in England’s schools has been published by the Government, which sets out when they are required and pupils that are exempt.
It says that in local lockdown areas face coverings should be worn by staff and students moving around schools in communal areas and corridors from September 1.
Should new local restrictions be imposed, schools will need to communicate “quickly and clearly” the new arrangements to staff, parents and pupils.
It says that all schools and colleges will have the discretion to require face coverings in communal areas where social distancing cannot be safely managed – such as when the layout of a school makes it difficult to do so.
Where a student or staff member is struggling to access a mask, or if it soiled or unsafe, the guidance says that schools should take steps to have a “small contingency supply” available, adding no-one should excluded on the grounds that they are not wearing a face covering.
Exemptions to the new measures include those who cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability, or if a person is speaking to or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading, clear sound or facial expression to communicate.
No more Eat Out to Help Out
The popular initiative, which sees the cost of eat-in meals reduced three days a week, is due to finish at the end of August.
The Government announced the scheme, in which diners’ meals are slashed to half price up to the value of £10 per head during August, to help the hard-hit hospitality industry cope with the coronavirus crisis.