A whole slew of new laws are scheduled to come into force in the UK next year with several others under serious consideration. These will affect a range of issues starting from council tax to drones.
Here are the most important ones:
- MOT scrapped on classic cars
Starting May 2018, 293,000 cars in the UK will be exempt from an MOT test.
Under this proposal, cars that are more than 40 years old will no longer need to take the annual road safety test in Britain. This change will result in nearly 1.5 percent of the country’s cars not possessing an MOT certificate despite which they will be road legal.
According to the Department for Transport the new rule was not unsafe since most owners of older cars keep them in good condition and also don’t use them regularly enough to justify a MOT test.
2. Gender Pay Gap Data To Be Released
A new rule mandates that employers having at least 250 employees will have to publish information regarding pay differences between men and women in their workforce.
This will be the first time that such data will be made available and the first reports are to be released by 4 April 2018.
The law is part of the government’s efforts to reduce the current pay disparities between men and women in the UK.
3. New drone laws
Drones – small unmanned aircraft – are becoming increasingly regulated worldwide amid safety and security fears.
The UK government plans on introducing new laws in 2018 which will require users to take a basic online safety test and also register their drone for its legal use. The test is proposed to be ‘similar to a driving theory test.’
Police will also be granted powers to search and seize drones if they have any grounds for suspicion.
4. Banks will freeze illegal immigrants’ accounts
As a part of PM Theresa May’s plans to ensure a ‘hostile environment’ for illegal immigrants in the country, banks will start carrying out immigration checks on the nearly 70 million accounts available with them from January 2018.
The checks will take place four times a year and assets of illegal immigrants will be frozen.
The Home Office is expecting nearly 6,000 failed asylum seekers as well as others overstaying their visa to be identified.
Critics of the new measure have said that legal immigrants could be affected by the rule.
5. Minimum Energy Performance Ratings
Starting 1st April 2018, all privately rented properties will have to possess a minimum energy performance rating of E.
A government rule has made unlawful to rent out any property that breaches this minimum rating. Those who violate this law will be liable for a civil penalty of up to £4,000 .
Several Other Laws Are Being Considered
Some of the key proposals that are being considered for 2018 are:
6. Increase in Local Council Taxes
Recently the UK government relaxed rules related to council tax increases which could imply an increase of up to £100 a year in bills for families.
Earlier, local authorities were able to increase council tax up by two per cent as a result of a Government cap. If they wanted to hike it above the cap the council needed to hold a referendum.
But starting March 2018, councils may get the power to increase bills by up to 6 per cent without having to hold a vote. If this comes through it would be the biggest hike for 14 years.
The proposal is currently a provisional announcement as it is still at the consultation phase. A final settlement will be announced early next year.
7. Grandparental Leave could be introduced
In 2015, the UK government announced that it was considering the introduction of a shared parental leave scheme which would include grandparents as well.
According to government estimates, nearly 2 million grandparents have stopped working or have taken time off to provide care for their grandchildren, reflecting changing family dynamics in the country .
Under the new rules, grandparents will be able to share with their child up to 50 weeks leave to care for their grandchildren in the first year following birth.
Although the policy is yet to be confirmed by the government it may be introduced in 2018 .
In March 2018, Britain may adopt EU’s General Data Protection Regulation into British law despite the proposed exit of Britain from the EU
Under the new law, companies will be subject to tougher penalties if they fail to adhere to new rules regarding the storage and handling of personal data
Businesses in UK collect and store personal data online accessing it for sales and marketing efforts. The new rules which seeks to protect personal data from cyber hacks may make this harder .