11 new laws in 2024: What changes await Brits in the near future

By TravelWiseJan 6, 2024 18:34 PMNews
11 new laws in 2024: What changes await Brits in the near future
11 new laws in 2024: What changes await Brits in the near future. Source: Anadolu Agency via Getty Images,mirror.co.uk

If polls are to be believed, Rishi Sunak's chaotic premiership may be coming to an end. But while he is in office, his government still has time to pass new laws that could have a huge impact on people's lives for years to come.

In particular, the minimum wage will be raised, a law that will prohibit unscrupulous bosses from pocketing tips will be passed, and visa legislation will be changed. The Mirror has written about the laws that will come into effect this year and the initiatives that may be adopted.

A landmark ban on cigarette sales

Rishi Sunak's flagship smoking ban law, which will raise the age of purchase of tobacco products by one year each year, is set to come into effect this year.

The Prime Minister announced this radical change during his speech to the Tory conference in October, saying it would mean that a child who is currently 14 would never be allowed to buy cigarettes. Currently, young people can buy tobacco products from the age of 16.

The government believes that the new law will allow for a gradual end to youth smoking by 2040. According to Mr. Sunak, this will save the National Health Service billions of pounds a year.

The minimum wage will increase

The minimum wage that employers can pay their employees will increase in April. Starting April 1, employers will be required to pay at least £11.44 per hour to anyone over the age of 21. This is an increase from £10.42, or almost 10%.

This is the first time that 21- and 22-year-olds are entitled to the national living wage as previously it only applied to workers who were at least 23 years old. Those aged 18 to 20 will be paid the national minimum wage of £8.60 per hour, an increase of £1.11. The increase was announced in Chancellor Jeremy Hunt's Autumn Statement in November.

XL Bullies ban comes into force

The controversial ban on breeding large dogs came into effect on December 31. In England and Wales, it will be illegal to breed, sell, advertise, exchange, give away, rehome, abandon or allow these dogs to stray.

Owners will also be required to keep their pets on a leash or muzzle. The decision comes after a series of fatal dog attacks that led to calls for stricter legislation.

In September, Rishi Sunak said that XL Bully dogs pose a "danger to our communities." After several attacks by dangerous dogs in the UK, The Mirror newspaper campaigned for a ban on their keeping.

11 new laws in 2024: What changes await Brits in the near future
11 new laws in 2024: What changes await Brits in the near future. Source: Freepik

Greedy bosses banned from pocketing tips

Employers will finally be banned from pocketing staff's tips. This change was the result of years of Tory hesitation, and the promised legal changes finally took place only seven years after they were passed.

The Employment (Tip Sharing) Act 2023 will come into force on July 1. It prohibits companies from withholding service charges from their employees, ensuring that staff receive the tips they have earned.

11 new laws in 2024: What changes await Brits in the near future
11 new laws in 2024: What changes await Brits in the near future. Source: Freepik

Controversial changes to visa legislation

Under pressure from right-wing forces, the government has announced a series of measures aimed at reducing legal migration.

Starting in the spring - although the exact date has not yet been set - social workers will no longer be allowed to bring their partners and children on their visas. Skilled workers will not be issued visas unless they earn £29,000. This amount was originally set at £38,700 before the Home Office lowered it.

People who want to bring a partner to the UK will also have to earn this amount as the Tories are blamed for family separation. However, this is not universally accepted even among Tory MPs. Alicia Kearns, who chairs the foreign affairs committee, told LBC, "It runs the risk of being very un-conservative."

Suppression of children's vaping

In 2024, ministers hope to introduce new measures to crack down on children who start vaping. The government plans to introduce restrictions on the sale of vapes to children. The draft law on tobacco and vapes should be adopted "as soon as possible."

The flavours and descriptions of e-cigarettes will also be restricted so that they are not specifically targeted at children. Other planned restrictions include the sale of disposable vapes and the regulation of vape shops.

11 new laws in 2024: What changes await Brits in the near future
11 new laws in 2024: What changes await Brits in the near future. Source: Freepik

Clarity on drinking laws is desperately needed

The law about the use of alcohol and drugs is not entirely clear. While the police can take action in cases where this occurs, ministers have recognized that more needs to be done to make it clearer.

For this reason, the government has announced that the Criminal Justice Bill will be amended to include specific provisions for these actions. Labour Party argues that it should be a separate offense. However, if the bill comes into force in 2024, it will at least provide some necessary safeguards,

In a statement earlier this month, the Home Office said, "It is a step forward in the fight against alcohol and drug use that the government is preparing to make it clear through the Criminal Justice Bill.

Will there be better protection for tenants?

The government was expected to push through the long-awaited draft law on leasehold reform in 2024. This would, among other things, put an end to evictions without cause.

But it's not as simple as many had hoped as ministers have added an 11th-hour eviction provision. According to them, in order for this to come into force, an urgent reform of the judicial system must first be carried out. And let's be honest: that can take a long time.

Protection from redundancy during pregnancy

Starting in April, employees who are pregnant or on maternity, adoption or joint parental leave will have the priority right to be transferred to another job in the event of redundancy. This means that they will have the right to be offered a suitable alternative position if one is available.

This follows the adoption of the Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Parental Leave) Act.

Rwanda wants to be recognized as safe for refugees

Mr. Sunak had relied on a controversial and expensive project in Rwanda. In November, however, he faced a blow when the Supreme Court declared it illegal, with top judges saying that Rwanda was not a safe country to send asylum seekers to.

In a desperate attempt to save the scheme, they want to pass legislation declaring that it is in fact safe. This, along with a new agreement with the African country, will eventually allow deportation flights to continue.

But whether it will be possible to do so is another question. Even if he manages to unite the hardliners and moderates in his party, the House of Lords is leaning towards tearing the Rwanda Security Bill to shreds. So stay tuned.

New rules for electric car manufacturers

New minimum targets for automakers will come into effect in 2024, as announced by the government earlier this year. According to the zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) mandate, 22% of cars sold must be zero-emission.

This figure will gradually increase every year until it reaches 100% in 2035, a date that was pushed back by five years when Mr. Sunak backed down on his green promises. In September, Transportation Secretary Mark Harper said, "The pathway to zero-emission vehicles announced today ensures that the journey to get there is proportionate, pragmatic and realistic for families. Our mandate provides certainty for manufacturers, benefits drivers by providing more options, and helps grow the economy by creating skilled jobs."

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