The Covid-19 pandemic has had multiple effects on the lives of young people. These include worry for vulnerable family members and a change in normal routines. School closures have often exacerbated feelings of isolation and loneliness. Young people with existing mental health needs may have experienced a disruptive break in regular care as a result of the pandemic. This article examines the impact the pandemic has had on young people’s mental health, and what the Government’s response is.

The Fire Safety Bill is a government bill, and forms part of the Government’s response to the Grenfell fire. It seeks to clarify the scope of the Fire Safety Order 2005, specifically to ensure that the responsible person or duty-holder for multi-occupied, residential buildings must manage and reduce the risk of fire for the structure and external walls of the building, including cladding, balconies and windows; and for entrance doors to individual flats that open into common parts.

  • 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

    Scientific research in universities is funded through a mix of public money, EU funding and other sources. This article considers the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee report on the pressures on science research funding in universities, including proposals in the Augar Review to lower the existing cap on tuition fees and the potential impact of Brexit. The committee’s report is due to debated in the House of Lords on 9 September 2020.

  • In Focus

    Many of the restrictions imposed due to coronavirus have been set out in secondary legislation. This article covers two regulations that were made to relax some of the restrictions on what businesses can open, including pubs, restaurants and certain beauty salons. It has been published ahead of a Lords debate on the legislation.

  • In Focus

    Rates of smoking in Britain are among the lowest in Europe. Despite this, smoking is still a major cause of early death. Smoking rates remain tied to economic factors, with research showing as personal income increases, the likelihood of smoking decreases. This article looks at the statistics and research around smoking. It also considers the Government’s ambition of going smoke-free by 2030 in England, and 2034 in Scotland.

  • In Focus

    In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, it has been argued that the Government should change student finance arrangements for some healthcare students. This article focuses on this request, the Government’s response and how student finance currently works.

  • In Focus

    A range of data is available to measure child poverty. This article looks at official statistics on children in low income households with someone in work. It then considers Government policy in the area, and also discusses the possible impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Child poverty in working households is the subject of an oral question in the House of Lords on 15 July 2020.

  • Research Briefing

    Amongst its provisions, the Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill would give effect to the Government’s policy of ending freedom of movement once the transition phase ends at the end of December 2020. It would also confirm the continued right of Irish citizens to come to and work in the UK after the ending of freedom of movement and it would provide a power to amend, via regulations, retained EU law governing social security coordination.