There is currently a system for mutual recognition of health and social care qualifications within and between European Economic Area states and Switzerland. The UK has passed legislation amending its provisions in this area to take account of its exit from the EU. In recent agreements with Switzerland and the European Free Trade Area states, the UK committed to conditions for these countries which go further than the legislation that has already been passed. The European Qualifications (Health and Social Care Professions) (EFTA States) (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020 would implement these commitments.

On 4 November 2020, the House of Lords is due to debate regulations introducing a second ‘lockdown’ in England. The Prime Minister announced the measures in a televised address on 31 October 2020 and made a further statement in the House of Commons on 2 November 2020.

  • In Focus

    Three draft statutory instruments due to be debated in the House of Lords on 22 October 2020 would give effect to commitments in the EU Withdrawal Agreement, the EEA EFTA Separation Agreement and the Swiss Citizens’ Rights Agreement. These statutory instruments cover a “grace period” for applications to the EU settlement scheme permits for frontier workers; and the deportation of EEA citizens.

  • In Focus

    The number of people claiming unemployment-related benefits, which includes some people working but on low incomes, increased by over 100 percent between March and August 2020. There is also some evidence that people on low incomes saw a higher than average drop in income at the onset of the pandemic. This article provides information on selected government support schemes and when some are due to expire.

  • In Focus

    For many years there has been debate about the public representation of historical figures. Black Lives Matter protests in the spring and summer of 2020 renewed media focus on this issue, particularly regarding statues of people with links to slavery and other exploitative or abusive behaviour. This debate is also taking place in other sectors, as people explore how history and knowledge can be made more representative, complete and restorative—from university curricula to library collections.

  • In Focus

    The Coronavirus Act 2020 was passed on 25 March 2020 and gave the Government various new powers to deal with the Covid-19 outbreak. The act stipulates that the House of Commons must have the opportunity to decline to renew certain of these powers every six months. A parallel debate on the temporary provisions in the act is to take place in the House of Lords on 28 September 2020.

  • In Focus

    The Government has laid several statutory instruments requiring people to wear face coverings, with the aim of reducing the spread of Covid-19. These regulations include a list of “relevant places” where people must wear face coverings. The regulations have been updated with subsequent regulations that add places to the list and remove exemptions. The financial penalties for non-compliance have also been updated. This article looks at the requirements imposed by the various instruments.

  • In Focus

    Children whose parents or guardians get certain benefits, and all children up to year 2, are entitled to a free school meal during term time. During the Covid-19 pandemic the Government introduced supermarket vouchers to cover the cost of a meal while the schools were closed. This scheme was extended into the Easter, May half term and summer school holidays. On 14 September 2020, Baroness D’Souza is due to ask the Government what assessment they have made of extending a programme of free meals and activities into all future school holidays.

  • In Focus

    The Jobseekers (Back to Work Schemes) Act 2013 (Remedial) Order 2019 makes changes to the Jobseekers (Back to Work Schemes) Act 2013. These changes are the result of decisions made in the courts on the act’s compatibility with the European Convention on Human Rights. This article looks at the court cases which led to the remedial order, ahead of its debate in the House of Lords on 3 September 2020.

  • In Focus

    On 23 July 2020 the Government laid regulations requiring people to wear face coverings in shops and some other indoor venues. The House of Lords is due to debate these regulations in September 2020. This article provides an overview of the regulations and the background to their introduction.

  • In Focus

    This article looks at accusations of racism in the Metropolitan Police Service, both towards officers and in its interactions with the public. The action being taken to address racism in the Metropolitan Police Service is the subject of an oral question in the House of Lords on 15 July 2020.