United Kingdom

New laws that have been passed in the UK- Sarah Iqbal, James Allen’s Girls School

Legislations are frequently changed in the UK to adapt with the social, political, and economic changes that regularly occur within our society. So what recent laws have been made, or adapted from their previous state, in the UK?

All these laws were decided and came to act in April 2022.

Firstly, new divorce laws are in place. The changes stem from the ‘Divorce, Dissolution, and Seperation Act 2020’. Couples will now have to wait a minimum of 20 weeks from when their divorce proceedings first beginning, to when the final outcomes are decided. The reason for this waiting period is to encourage reconciliation between couples, and be a time where they can reflect, and think with a calm reasonable mind. If couples are completely sure that divorce is necessary, this time can also be used to plan how life will be after the divorce, and what their futures will look like- they might share kids, or even a business. Also, a ‘no fault divorce’ rule has been implemented. This means that couples can now file for divorce without having to provide reasoning where they blame the other person, or accuse them for causing problems within the marriage. The divorce can now be handled civilly and amicably. In addition, if divorce has been filed by one person, the other person in the marriage cannot challenge this appeal, as the divorce will always be granted, except from very specific circumstances. Both parties no longer need to agree for a divorce to be issued.

Many people highly agree with these legislative changes, and in fact think they should have been decided years ago! I highly agree, as these changed rulings now allow a divorce to be handled in an easier way, which is how I think it should be when making the personal decision to not be with someone. As for the 20 week waiting period, I do recommend this, as marriage is still a very important and fulfilling stage in one’s life. If it can be savoured by having that chance to cool down, explore other perspectives, and reconvene, then a couple can at least try.

Vehicle Excise Duty, or Car tax, has been increased too. For cars emitting up to 50kg per km of CO2, the payment will rise from £155 to £165. This increase in the tax is in line with the measure of inflation by the Retail Price Index. If a car emits no CO2, such as electric vehicles, then they have no car tax to be paying. I do think this is a beneficial law to help reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases, as it is a top issue on the global agenda, because climate change needs to be decreased soon to prevent permanent damage on the world.

National Minimum Wage has also increased. An additional 82p per hour is required to be paid to workers. Other wages have also increased: The apprentice rate has gone from £4.30 to £4.81, the National Living Wage for those over the age of 23 has become £9.50 (it is set to rise even further to £10.42 this year), and for those aged 21-22 the pay per hour has gone from £8.36 to £9.18. 

What do you think about these new laws? Do you agree with them, or are there things you would like to change?



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