These regulations extend the Pension Protection Fund’s rights as a creditor when co-operative and community benefit societies have a moratorium in place to protect them from creditor action. This would give the fund a greater say during restructuring discussions when societies are in financial difficulty. The Pension Protection Fund provides compensation for members of defined benefit pension schemes where their employer becomes insolvent. The regulations also revoke and replace previous regulations due to a drafting error.

These regulations temporarily increase the amount of time that a defendant can be held in custody whilst awaiting a crown court trial. The Government said that the purpose of the regulations is to provide reassurance to victims and the public following the recent delays in trial listings caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The regulations came into force on 28 September 2020 and will expire on 28 June 2021.

On 12 October 2020, the Government announced a new system of local Covid-19 alert levels in England. Areas would be categorised as either ‘medium’, ‘high’ or ‘very high’. Different restrictions intended to combat the spread of Covid-19 would be in place based on the alert level in a local area. This article summarises the regulations establishing this new system and the reaction from the local areas affected.

  • In Focus

    Since 2009 the UK bank base rate has been below 1%, and it was cut to 0.1% in March 2020 in response to the coronavirus pandemic. With the economy remaining weak, commentators have debated whether there should be further cuts, taking the interest rate negative for the first time. This article summarises the policy debate.

  • In Focus

    In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Department for Education has said it expects to see an increase in the number of apprentices being made redundant. The Government has laid regulations which would allow apprentices who are made redundant to continue to receive funding to complete their apprenticeship through an alternative provider.

  • In Focus

    These regulations make it an offence not to self-isolate if instructed to by certain local authority and health officials. This would apply to those who have tested positive for coronavirus or who have been in close contact with someone else who has tested positive. The regulations came into force on 28 September 2020 and the House of Lords is due to consider them on 14 October 2020.

  • In Focus

    Almost 200 Covid-19 vaccine candidates are currently being developed. However, only a tiny percentage of these will ever be mass-produced and distributed. Concerns around ‘vaccine nationalism’ have grown, as high-income countries pre-order hundreds of millions of vaccine doses. This article looks at this problem and examines what solutions are being put in place to ensure low and middle income countries receive adequate supplies of any successful Covid-19 vaccine.

  • In Focus

    During the Covid-19 pandemic, the Government has introduced requirements to wear face coverings in specified locations. These have been updated several times, to broaden the scope of the rules and to increase the financial penalties for non-compliance. This article looks at the requirements imposed by three instruments that came into force on 23 and 24 September 2020 and are being debated in the House of Lords on 12 October 2020.

  • In Focus

    The Social Security (Up-rating of Benefits) Bill is due to be considered in the House of Lords on 13 October 2020. It allows for particular state pension benefits to be reviewed and potentially increased, despite an expected fall in average earnings due to the coronavirus pandemic. The bill received cross-party support in the House of Commons, where it passed all its stages on 1 October 2020.

  • In Focus

    With just under a month until the US presidential election, some American citizens have started casting their votes. The coronavirus pandemic has already caused disruption to previous elections held across the US this year. How might coronavirus affect the way Americans vote in November?

  • In Focus

    On 9 October 2020, the House of Lords will debate the Charitable Incorporated Organisations (Insolvency and Dissolution) (Amendment) (No.2) Regulations 2020. These regulations provide for new arrangements on moratoriums for charitable organisations to facilitate their rescue from financial difficulty.

  • In Focus

    16 September 2020 marks 400 years since the Mayflower set sail on its famous voyage to America. This article tells the story of that voyage, using information from Mayflower 400 UK, the commemorative project marking the anniversary around the UK.

  • In Focus

    On 11 September 2020, the Government announced that it would be creating new ‘local lockdown’ restrictions in Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull. These regulations came into force on 15 September 2020. Under the regulations, those living within these areas are prohibited from meeting different households in private dwellings either within or outside the protected area (except for linked households). This article provides a summary of these regulations and their scrutiny in Parliament. It also considers how people in the areas affected have responded to the new restrictions.

  • In Focus

    Following the coronavirus lockdown, the number of passengers on the transport system declined significantly. In some sectors government financial support has been provided to make up the shortfall in lost fare revenue. This article summarises statistics on transport use and the economic support provided by the Government, ahead of an oral question on that subject in the House of Lords.