10 new laws and rules coming to Scotland this month that could impact you

Scotland will see 10 new rules and changes coming this month that could impact various parts of life.

From money and benefits changes to new rules on allergies, the new laws will affect everyone from October.

Some 15million people are expected to see their energy bills rise, while a new vaccine passport will become a legal requirement.

Meanwhile, new laws on rehoming pets has come into force as well as Universal Credit cuts.

Here are 10 key new laws and changes coming into force from October:

1. Scotland’s vaccine passport

Scotland’s Covid vaccine passport system starts from today October 1, meaning people will need to show proof of two jabs to enter nightclubs or football matches.

Nicola Sturgeon has delayed the start of legal enforcement of Scotland’s new vaccine passports by 17 days after a backlash from nightclub and venue owners.

Businesses will not face any ‘enforcement action’ on vaccine passports until the end of a grace period on 18 October.

2. Furlough ends

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has ended, with around one million people still believed to have been buying paid through the furlough scheme at the end of September.

Ministers say this could result in a number of job losses, as companies will now be responsible for paying staff if they want to keep them on the books.

3. Natasha’s Law



Nadim and Tanya Ednan-Laperouse – parents of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, who died aged 15

The new allergen legislation coming into place in Scotland.

New legislation which requires food businesses in Scotland to include detailed ingredient and allergen information on labels for prepacked for direct sale (PPDS) foods will become law on October 1, 2021.

Natasha Ednan-Laperouse went into anaphylactic shock within minutes of take off on a British Airways flight to France after buying a sandwich at a Pret-A-Manger branch in Heathrow airport.

The 15-year-old knew she was allergic to milk, eggs, banana, nuts and sesame seeds so along with her dad had checked the label carefully.

But the artichoke, olive and tapenade baguette contained sesame seeds that were baked into the dough and so not visible or listed in the ingredients.

She fell ill while in the air and despite efforts to give her adrenaline shots, she was unable to breathe and suffered a heart attack and later died in a French hospital on July 17, 2016.

A loophole in the law meant Pret – and other firms like it – were not obliged to provide a full list of allergens on products made in their stores.

Now from today (October 1), Natasha’s Law comes into force that will require more pre-packaged food like takeaway sandwiches, cakes and salads to have their full ingredients and allergy details listed on the item.

Changes ushered in by the law will apply to businesses selling their own pre-packaged food at other outlets they run – which will include market stalls and mobile food vans.

4. Energy bills rise

Energy bills for 15 million households will increase by at least £139 to a record high from today under Ofgem’s latest price cap as suppliers grapple with soaring wholesale prices.

The regulator decided in August that energy customers on default tariffs paying by direct debit will see the sharpest jump in prices since the cap was introduced in January 2019, taking average bills to £1,277.

Pre-payment customers will see costs rise by £153, from £1,156 to £1,309.

The increase has been driven by a rise of more than 50% in energy costs over the last six months, with gas prices hitting a record high as inflation jumped amid the easing of pandemic restrictions, Ofgem said.

5. Universal Credit £20 uplift axed



The Government gave everyone on Universal Credit a £20 a week uplift through the coronavirus pandemic.

The ends in October – meaning everyone on the benefit will see their payments drop.

The move is opposed by six former work and pensions secretaries, charities, think tanks, teachers and MPs across the political spectrum.

6. Halogen bulbs banned

Sales of halogen lightbulbs will be banned, with high-energy fluorescent lights to follow suit, under Government climate plans.

The move will cut 1.26 million tonnes of carbon emissions a year and is part of tighter energy efficiency rules which will help save consumers £75 a year, the Business Department said.

The UK began phasing out the sale of higher-energy halogen lightbulbs in 2018 under EU-wide rules, and now retailers will no longer be able to sell most remaining halogen bulbs, such as kitchen spotlights, from September 2021.

It will help continue the shift to low energy LED lightbulbs, which already account for around two thirds of lights sold in Britain, and is expected to mean LEDs will account for 85% of all bulbs sold by 2030, officials said.

7. Final self-employment grant closes

The fifth and final SEISS (self-employed income support scheme) grant must be claimed by this Thursday (September 30) so there isn’t long left to claim up to £7,500.

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8. VAT holiday ends

Due to the pandemic, on 8 July 2020, the government announced a temporary 5% reduced rate of VAT for certain supplies relating to hospitality, hotel and holiday accommodation and admission to certain attractions, reports Cowgills.

The reduced rate was initially introduced for a temporary period between 15 July 2020 and 12 January 2021 and was subsequently extended to 31 March 2021.

In the Budget 2021, the Chancellor announced that the 5% reduced rate would be extended again until 30 September 2021 and further that from 1 October 2021 until 31 March 2022, the temporary reduced rate of 5% VAT will change to the new reduced rate of VAT of 12.5%.

The normal standard rate of 20% will now return on 1 April 2022.

That means the cost of your holidays, and what you buy in cafes, pubs and restaurants, is likely to be higher this month.

9. National Lottery age change

Under-18s will be banned from playing the National Lottery from today, as the minimum age rises from 16 to 18.

This follows the launch of a major review of gambling laws to protect children and vulnerable people from the dangerously addictive gambling industry.

Nigel Huddleston, minister for sport, tourism and heritage, said the new restrictions will help ensure that lottery is not a “gateway to problem gambling” – especially with the growth in online gaming.

10. Pets rehomed

Game-changing” new legislation has come into effect today which will transform the lives of rescue animals caught up in legal proceedings.

In a first for any country across the UK, new powers that have come in to force will enable animals taken into possession to protect their welfare to be rehomed quicker, the Scottish SPCA has said.

Previously, animals which were seized on welfare grounds without their owners signing them over would have to be kept in a rescue centre until any legal proceedings concluded.

Changes to the legislation in Scotland mean that animals seized due to welfare concerns can now be rehomed after a minimum of just three weeks without a court order.

Scotland’s animal welfare charity anticipate the reforms could reduce days spent in care in a kennel environment for such animals by over 90%.

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