Publication - Progress report

Coronavirus Acts: fifth report to Scottish Parliament (February 2021)

Published: 11 Feb 2021

Information on the status and operation of the provisions under Part 1 of the first and second Scottish Coronavirus Acts in this reporting period (1 December – 31 January) and the relevant provision of the UK Act.

Coronavirus Acts: fifth report to Scottish Parliament (February 2021)
6. Status update

6. Status update

6.1. Table One below provides detail on the status and operation of the provisions under Part 1 of the first and second Scottish Acts, and the provisions of the UK Act for which the Scottish Parliament gave legislative consent.

6.2. This includes information on the provisions which have been expired or suspended in this reporting period.

6.3. Where it is indicated in Table One that provisions have been expired as they are ‘spent’ provisions, this means that the provisions make amendments to other legislation and therefore the provisions themselves no longer need to remain in force. The operation of section 15(2)(d) of the Interpretation and Legislative Reform (Scotland) Act 2010 means that the expiry of these provisions does not affect the amendments they have made to other legislation. The effect of the expiry is simply to remove the ‘spent’ provisions in each of the Scottish Acts.

6.4. The purpose of the expiry of such spent provisions, even though this does not affect the amendments to other legislation made by those provisions, is to respect the commitment given by Ministers to seek to expire provisions as soon as is appropriate.

6.5. It was considered appropriate to expire these provisions as they are considered to no longer be needed and this aids clarity in the statute book.

6.6. As outlined above, our reporting approach will ensure that the Parliament is given as much information as is available across all of the provisions in the relevant legislation, but with a particular emphasis on those provisions which have been identified as being likely to have the most significant impacts or interest. Where supplementary information has been provided, this is indicated within the ‘description of provision’ and ‘operation of the provision in the reporting period’ columns within Table One, and further information is provided at section seven.

Table One – Status and operation of provisions
Act Provision Description of provision Operation of the provision in reporting period five (ending 31 January 2021) Status at the end of reporting period five (31 Jan 2021) and details of any change of status since last reporting period
First Scottish Act Section 2 and schedule 1 - Eviction from dwelling-houses See section 7.1.1 In operation
Supplementary information provided – see section 7.1.1 for further information
Commenced and still in force.
No change to status since last reporting period
First Scottish Act Section 3 and schedule 2 - Temporary extension of moratoria on diligence The provisions extend the period of any new moratoria to a period of six months, and removes the limitation that only one such moratorium can be applied for in any twelve month period. In operation
Extended moratorium is available for individuals to apply. As at 31 December 2020 1,207 applications had been granted under the new powers
Commenced and still in force
No change to status since last reporting period
First Scottish Act Section 4 and schedule 3 - Children and vulnerable adults – Part 1 – Children See section 7.1.2 Child protection provisions – in operation
Children’s hearings provisions – in operation
Looked after children provisions – in operation
Supplementary information provided - see section 7.1.2 for further information
Section 4 and schedule 3, Part 1
Paragraphs 1-5 and 7-10 – commenced and still in force
Paragraph 6 expired
No change to status since last reporting period
First Scottish Act Section 4 and schedule 3- Children and vulnerable adults – Part 2 – Vulnerable adults See section 7.1.3 Not in operation
Paragraph 11(1) expired on 29 September and the rest of Paragraph 11 was suspended as from 30 September
Section 4 and Schedule 3, Part 2
Paragraph 11(1)
Expired
Paragraph 11(2) and (3)
Suspended
No change to status since last reporting period
First Scottish Act Section 5 and schedule 4, Part 1 - Courts and tribunals: conduct of business by electronic means These provisions allow documents produced by a court or tribunal, or connected with criminal or civil proceedings, to be signed and transmitted electronically, removing the requirement for physical movement and contact. This enables documents to be sent, served and lodged by means of email or other electronic means.
The provisions also provide that any participant in either criminal or civil proceedings (judge, clerk, legal representatives, parties to proceedings, accused, convicted persons, appellants and witnesses) can take part in any proceedings by way of live visual (television) or audio (telephone) link from any location.
In operation
Remote hearings and electronic processes have increased across all areas of criminal and civil business.
Civil business continues to operate virtually and remotely, as has been the case throughout the pandemic - almost all civil court and tribunal business is now conducted online or by telephone with all documents in civil cases lodged electronically; all new summonses signetted electronically and evidential hearings for civil cases being held remotely. In the Sheriff Appeal Court almost all civil hearings are being conducted remotely. From 13 July 2020 the All-Scotland Sheriff Personal Injury Court (ASSPIC) transitioned to a remote basis. The first ASSPIC proof hearings (for hearing evidential cases remotely) commenced in early August and since late November Scotland’s Sheriff civil courts are now conducting proofs, debates, evidential and Fatal Accident Inquiry (FAI) hearings virtually using the WebEx video platform. The first blended civil proof (proof using both in person and video evidence) has taken place. Arrangements are currently being made for further blended commercial proofs in the Court of Session and work continues on plans for civil jury trial resumption both in the Court of Session and ASSPIC.
For criminal business, the conduct of virtual courtroom trials has been piloted and criminal justice organisations are working together to develop a model for trials to be conducted virtually where appropriate.
With the introduction of remote jury centres, the normal capacity of 16 trials per day for High Court evidence-led trials had been restored by November with robust public health measures and guidance in place to protect all court users, including jurors and staff.
In addition, the first Sheriff Court trials to use jury centres commenced at the beginning of December 2020. Seven Sheriff courts are now running jury trials linked to remote jury centres. This was rolled out in January and this will continue in February.
The Lord President has stated the use of written submissions, the digital transmission of documents and the use of electronic signatures have enabled swift process changes which are necessary to operate court services efficiently.
Commenced and still in force
No change to status since last reporting period
First Scottish Act Section 5 and schedule 4, Part 2 - Fiscal fines The provisions enable a wider range of cases to be dealt with by fiscal fine and, thereby, mitigate the impact of coronavirus on the justice system. In operation
In accordance with the revised policy guidance issued by the Lord Advocate in relation to fiscal fines, the increase in fine amounts enables alternative action to be taken in a wider range of cases, where such action is assessed as appropriate by prosecutors.
Prosecutors are directed to first consider offering a direct measure, in particular a fiscal fine, in relation to appropriate cases which would otherwise have proceeded in the Justice of the Peace court.
In the period since 1 April 2020 up until 31 December 2020, 10,047 people or approximately 28% of individuals who received a first marking action for a Direct Measure were offered a fiscal fine. Since implementation of the revised scale on 7 April 2020, on average, 3% of individuals offered a fiscal fine have been issued a fine amount above the previous scale maximum of £300.
For as long as court business is affected by COVID-19, these provisions will continue to be required.
COPFS will continue to monitor and review the use of the measure, which will only be used where such action is considered appropriate in the public interest.
Commenced and still in force
No change to status since last reporting period
First Scottish Act Section 5 and schedule 4, Part 3 - Cases beginning with an appearance from custody The provisions introduce Scotland wide jurisdiction for sheriffs dealing with first appearances from police custody. This enables custody proceedings to be heard in any sheriff court in Scotland by a sheriff of any sheriffdom, no matter where the alleged offence took place. The provision also enables the court to hear any continuation of a case, up until a not guilty plea is tendered, if that occurs. In operation
The provisions continue to enable custody proceedings to be heard in any sheriff court in Scotland by a sheriff of any sheriffdom, no matter where the alleged offence took place.
The provision creates the necessary flexibility to ensure the continued safe and effective operation of custody courts during the coronavirus outbreak while public health guidance remains in place and allows the court to deal with guilty pleas and move them out of the court system, and in doing so, minimise the number of cases that have to be transferred to local court.
For as long as court business is affected by COVID-19 and public health measures remain in place these provisions will continue to be required.
This provision enables the effective continued operation of custody court business and allows custody courts to be conducted in a way which will minimise unnecessary travel and congregation of people in accordance with public health guidance, and allow Police Scotland and the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service to continue to operate a smaller number of centralised police custody suites and court hubs in response to the outbreak.
Commenced and still in force
No change to status since last reporting period
First Scottish Act Section 5 and schedule 4, Part 4 - Extension of time limits See section 7.1.4 In operation
Supplementary information provided – see section 7.1.4 for further information
Commenced and still in force
No change to status since last reporting period
First Scottish Act Section 5 and schedule 4, Part 5 - Evidence The provisions allow evidence by statement where a witness is unable to attend court because their attendance at court presents a health risk connected to coronavirus. In operation
The provisions are intended to ensure that the inability of witnesses to give evidence in court because, for example, they are self-isolating due to coronavirus, does not unnecessarily prevent criminal trials from proceeding. As such, it is likely to continue to be necessary for as long as public health guidelines around self-isolation and coronavirus remain in effect and may be especially important at a time when infection rates are high.
Commenced and still in force
No change to status since last reporting period
First Scottish Act Section 5 and schedule 4, Part 6 - Community orders The provisions extend time limits for unpaid work in Community Payback Orders (CPOs) by 12 months, and require similar time limits to be imposed in any new orders made.
The provisions introduce regulation-making powers for the Scottish Ministers to postpone, vary, or revoke requirements in CPOs or Drug Treatment and Testing Orders.
In operation
Schedule 4, para 14 – power to postpone requirements in CPOs or Drug Treatment and Testing Orders – not in operation.
Schedule 4, para 15 – power to vary requirements in CPOs or Drug Treatment and Testing Orders - draft regulations to vary unpaid work and other activity requirements as part of a CPO were laid on 29 January 2021[24], and these are subject to parliamentary scrutiny and approval. The draft regulations propose to vary the unpaid work or other activity requirements imposed in existing CPOs (except those imposed for domestic abuse, sexual offences, or stalking), reducing these by 35% in order to reduce the overall volume of hours to be delivered and ensure that the community justice system can continue to operate effectively.
Schedule 4, paras 12 and 13 Commenced and still in force. No change since last reporting period.
Not in operation. No change since last reporting period.
Draft regulations laid in Parliament shortly before end of reporting period.
First Scottish Act Section 5 and schedule 4, Part 7 - Parole Board The provisions allow parole hearings to continue and avoid postponements. They also provide the power for the Chair of the Parole Board to delegate their functions to another member of the Parole Board, should they become incapacitated for any reason. In operation
The Parole Board continue to hold hearings almost unaffected. In the period 23 March 2020 to 01 January 2021, over 99% of Tribunals/Oral Hearings scheduled have been heard successfully with only 3 of 957 unsuccessful.
No change in status since last reporting period.
First Scottish Act Section 5 and schedule 4, Part 8 - Release of prisoners See section 7.1.5 Not in operation
Supplementary information provided – see section 7.1.5 for further information.
Commenced and still in force
No change to status since last reporting period
First Scottish Act Section 5 and schedule 4, Part 9 - Legal Aid The provisions allow for a reduction of the level of scrutiny required before interim payment may be made, enhanced powers of recovery in the event of overpayments resulting from interim payments, and removal of conditions for counsel to be able to apply for interim payment. In operation
Arrangements were introduced on 12 January[25] in the Scottish court system to support the current lockdown, as part of the public health response to the COVID-19, means there will be a significant reduction in cases proceeding.
Restrictions on travel and to support social distancing also impact on businesses providing legally aided services to clients.
Many providers of legal aid services will continue to experience disruption to cash flow and the provisions will support access to payment prior to a case concluding.
Commenced and still in force
No change to status since last reporting period
First Scottish Act Section 6 and schedule 5 – Alcohol licensing and
section 7 and schedule 6, Part 1 - Licensing other than alcohol licensing
The Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 and the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 and associated statutory instruments provide the legislative framework to support licensing of activities such as the sale and supply of alcohol and taxi and private car hire. The legislative framework contains strict timescales and deadlines with little or no flexibility available to the relevant authorities. Without legislative change, the impact of the coronavirus would result in people losing their licences through no fault of their own. In operation
Licensing Boards and licensing authorities are responsible for the day to day administration of the civil licensing regimes in Scotland. Information on the operation of the civil licensing regimes and how these powers under the first Scottish Act have been used is not held centrally. Examples of licensing authorities continuing to make use of the provisions include holding virtual licence meetings to progress day to day licensing business due to the coronavirus outbreak and physical distancing requirements. The provisions require to remain in place to enable the licensing regime to function effectively and to ensure, as far as practicable, people do not lose licenses through no fault of their own.
Commenced and still in force
No change to status since last reporting period
First Scottish Act Section 7 and schedule 6, Part 2 – Freedom of Information (FOI) See section 7.1.6 Section 7, schedule 6, part 2, paragraph 6 - in operation
Section 7, schedule 6, part 2, paragraph 7 – in operation
Supplementary information provided – see section 7.1.6 for further information
Commenced and still in force
No change to status since last reporting period
First Scottish Act Section 7 and schedule 6, Part 3 - Duties in respect of reports and other documents The provision allows statutory reporting requirements to be postponed, and documents to be made available online instead of being made physically available. In operation
These are generic provisions that apply to reporting and publication requirements across the public sector. The suspension of physical publication requirements is in use, since it is not currently possible to provide physical access to documents in all circumstances. The power to postpone reporting should only be used as necessary to enable public authorities to focus on the coronavirus response. Given the aim of reducing undue burdens, it would be disproportionate to request authorities to report on the individual uses of these powers, however the provision continues to be necessary for the reasons set out above.
Commenced and still in force
No change to status since last reporting period
First Scottish Act Section 7 and schedule 6, Part 4 - Local Authority meetings The provisions allow Local Authorities to exclude the public from Local Authority meetings on public health grounds. In operation
All 32 councils have arrangements in place for remote meetings. It is the responsibility of councils to determine for themselves the governance arrangements they put in place and it is not appropriate for the Scottish Government to intervene.
A briefing prepared by the Improvement Service in October 2020 highlighted around half of councils reported or were found to be livestreaming meetings or allowing members of the public to participate (deputations etc.) in at least one meeting. Many of the councils that did not have the ability to livestream or allow the public to participate, were exploring options for doing so.
At this stage, it is anticipated that this provision will continue to be necessary until council offices can reopen to the public, without the need for physical distancing, and/or other relevant aspects of Local Authority business resumes.
Commenced and still in force
No change to status since last reporting period
First Scottish Act Section 7 and schedule 6, and Part 5 - Duties under the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000 The provisions allow Scottish Ministers, by further regulation, to amend the statutory reporting deadlines of Scottish administration annual accounts. Not in operation
The provisions allow for amendment of the statutory deadlines for annual accounts as set by the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000. The deadlines for such accounts is 31 December 2021.
Although the powers under schedule 6, Part 5 do not currently require to be used, the provisions remain necessary overall as a contingency to ensure that during the resurgence of the virus, if for example, this is resulting in staff absences, that they could be used if required at that time. It is proportionate and appropriate that this provision remains commenced and still in force, although not operational in this reporting period.
Commenced and still in force
No change to status since last reporting period
First Scottish Act Section 8 and schedule 7, paragraphs 1 to 5 - Social security See section 7.1.7 On re-determinations – Social Security Scotland has extended timescales allowed for re-determinations on 37 occasions, taking an average 35 days to complete these re-determinations. Clients are citing COVID-19 reasons or difficulties for not being able to provide evidence sooner and on these occasions Social Security Scotland are working with the client by extending and ensuring their application is determined as quickly as possible.
On appeals - A small number of appeals have been accepted by the Tribunal, citing COVID-19 as a factor for accepting the late appeal. A recent tribunal appeal decision was partially allowed for Best Start Grant Early Learning Payment but not the School Age Payment where the client cited COVID-19 as their reason for the delay in applying. The Tribunal only allowed for one element of Best Start Grant as a result of the COVID-19 delay.
Paragraphs 1-5 have all been commenced
Paragraphs 1(b) and 5 are in force
Paragraphs 1(a), 2, 3 and 4 are expired as they are spent provisions.
First Scottish Act Section 8 and schedule 7, paragraphs 6 and 7 -Irritancy clauses in commercial leases: non-payment of rent or other sums due The provision allows for the statutory period for non-eviction of commercial tenants for non-payment of rent to be extended from 14 days to 14 weeks. As a preventative measure it is not possible to quantify how effective it has been. However, anecdotally it has been working well in conjunction with the Code of Practice for the Commercial Property Sector to prevent evictions for non-payment of rent. Rather landlords and tenants are coming to mutually beneficial agreements on lease restructuring, Rental deferments, holidays and reductions Commenced and still in force
No change to status since last reporting period
First Scottish Act Section 8 and schedule 7, paragraphs 8 to 10 - Duration of planning permission The provision provides that if planning permission or planning permission in principle was to lapse during the emergency period, then the period within which development is to be commenced is extended. In operation
It would be disproportionate to request authorities or applicants to report on the individual uses of these powers. Whilst construction sites were permitted to remain open during most of the reporting period, with restrictions being increased post-Christmas, this means that further delays can be expected and it may take some time to deal with the backlog of developments. The Scottish Government will continue to liaise with stakeholders as part of the ongoing review of the operation and continued necessity of these provisions.
Commenced and still in force
The emergency and extended periods were amended by SSI 2020/254 under powers conferred by the Act. The emergency period will now end on 31 March 2021 and the extended period (if the Scottish Parliament agrees to a further extension) on 30 September 2021
First Scottish Act Section 8 and schedule 7, paragraphs 11 to 19 – Land Registration The provisions enable the digital submission of applications to the property registers and extend the period of protection provided by advance notices. In operation
The portal for the submission of digital applications continues to operate successfully. The Keeper of the Registers of Scotland will continue to update Parliament on its operation via the Economy Energy and Fair Work Committee. As per her commitment prior to commencement of the Act, the Keeper has now consulted with the Law Society of Scotland and agreed to fully reopen the property registers on 1 March 2021, which in turn will end the extended protection for advance notices. Therefore, it is the Keeper’s intention to declare the application record fully open on 1 March. While this is an administrative action, this will interact with para. 16 of sch.7 and result in the change in effective period for advance notices ending on 11 March.
Commenced and still in force
No change to status since last reporting period
First Scottish Act Section 8 and schedule 7, paragraphs 20 to 22 - Anatomy Act The provision extends the three year statutory time limit under the Anatomy Act 1984 for the retention of bodies after anatomical examination has concluded to that of the life of the emergency legislation. This ensures that during this pandemic, licence holders are not committing an offence by retaining a body beyond the statutory three years. In operation
Where bodies can be disposed of within the three year period, then they should. If however for reasons of excess demand on crematoriums or lockdown complications for example, as a result of coronavirus, then bodies can be retained within the extension period until the opportunity arises at crematoriums for their safe disposal.
Commenced and still in force
No change to status since last reporting period
First Scottish Act Section 8 and schedule 7, paragraphs 23 to 30 - Scrutiny of subordinate legislation in urgent cases Paragraphs 23 to 30 of schedule 7 allow subordinate legislation which is subject to the affirmative procedure to be instead made under a made affirmative procedure where necessary by reason of urgency. Not in operation
The provisions have not required to be used in the reporting period. The provisions are appropriate and proportionate in the current circumstances to provide the Scottish Government and Parliament with the flexibility needed for any unexpected change in circumstances that may still arise due to the pandemic. The provisions would only be exercised when necessary.
Commenced and still in force
No change to status since last reporting period
First Scottish Act Section 8 and schedule 7, paragraph 31 – Business Improvement Districts The provision extends the duration of Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) that are due to end in the coming months or have recently ended, without the legal requirement to hold a ballot. In operation
The provision has supported BIDs (including Clarkston, Edinburgh West End and Dunblane) to deliver critical Covid-19 responses in partnership with their local authorities and others.
The pandemic continues to impact on our local economies. Therefore, we are looking at further options to manage the risks of successful reballots where BIDs have to reballot over the next 1-2 years, as it is likely that businesses will still be facing reduced incomes and challenging conditions.
Commenced and still in force.
First Scottish Act Section 8 and schedule 7, paragraphs 32 and 33 - Muirburn The provisions ended the current Muirburn (management of moorland by burning and cutting) season early and they suspend Muirburn for the period in which the provisions are in force. In ordinary circumstances, Muirburn season runs from 1 October to 15 April inclusive in Scotland. Not in operation
As provided for by SSI 2020/260, which came into effect on 1 October 2020, the provision has remained suspended during this reporting period.
Ministers will consider whether to expire the provisions ahead of the next review date for extension.
Suspended
Second Scottish Act Section 2, schedule 1, Part 1 - Student residential tenancy: termination by tenant See section 7.2.1 In operation
Supplementary information provided at 7.2.1.1
Commenced and still in force
No change to status since last reporting period.
Second Scottish Act Section 2, schedule 1, Part 2 - Tenancies: pre-action requirements for order for possession or eviction order on ground of rent arrears See section 7.2.2 In operation
Supplementary information provided – see section 7.2.2 for further information.
Commenced and still in force
No change to status since last reporting period.
Second Scottish Act Section 2, schedule 1, Part 3- Coronavirus Carer’s Allowance Supplement Paragraph 6 amends section 81 of the Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018. This has the effect of adding an additional £230.10 to awards of Carer’s Allowance Supplement for the period from 1 April 2020 to 30 September 2020. In operation
This provision is still required for backdated payments of the Coronavirus Carer’s Allowance Supplement.
Carer’s Allowance Supplement (CAS) payments went out from 18 December last year and some people will have received a backdated Coronavirus CAS payment then.
Commenced and still in force
No change to status since last reporting period
Second Scottish Act Section 2, schedule 1, Part 4 - Social Care Staff Support Fund Paragraph 7 makes provision to require the Scottish Ministers to establish a Social Care Staff Support Fund as soon as is practicable when the second Scottish Act came into force. Paragraph 7(2) sets out what the fund is to be used for. The Scottish Ministers must use the fund to provide financial assistance to workers in the social care sector who have a restricted ability to work due to coronavirus and, as a result of that, have a reduced income and consequently are experiencing, or would experience, financial hardship while the second Scottish Act is in force. Paragraphs 7(3) to 7(7) require the Scottish Minsters to make further provision by regulations about the establishment, maintenance and administration of the fund. In operation
This Fund has now been extended to cover a small group of social care workers who were shielding, but were not placed on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme between March – October 2020. This element of the Fund will close 24 February 2021.
The Social Care Staff Support Fund (Coronavirus) (Scotland) Regulations 2020 were amended by SSI 2020/469[26] to widen the eligibility criteria for the Fund to include the social care workers and enables the Scottish Ministers to appoint different persons to manage different parts of the Fund on their behalf.
The amendment regulations came into force on 24 December 2020.
Commenced and still in force
No change to status since last reporting period.
Second Scottish Act Section 2, schedule 1, Part 5 – Bankruptcy The provisions protect those in unsustainable debt by making bankruptcy more accessible, they provide that: the Minimal Asset Process (MAP) fee is reduced to £50; no fee will be payable in MAP cases for those receiving certain benefits, including when those benefits are not the applicant’s sole income; the maximum debt level for MAP is increased to £25,000, and student loan debt is removed from that calculation; the Full Administration fee is reduced to £150; no fee will be payable in Full Administration cases for those receiving certain benefits, including when those benefits are not the applicant’s sole income; and the minimum debt level for creditor petitions is increased to £10,000. All bankruptcy-related forms and circulars may be sent electronically. In operation
In the period between 27 May and 31 December 2020 there were 1,435 new applications for bankruptcy which benefitted from the reduced application fee – 1,125 (78.4%) of which paid no application fee at all
Commenced and still in force
No change to status since last reporting period
Second Scottish Act Section 2, schedule 1, Part 6 – Mental health: named person nomination The second Scottish Act temporarily removes the requirement for a nominated person to have their signature witnessed by a prescribed person when they agree to become a named person.
This change applies to section 250(2A) of the Mental Health (Care and Treatment)(Scotland) Act 2003 and only affects the process for the proposed named person (nominee). There are no changes to the process for the patient (nominator).
In operation
These provisions retain all the safeguards for the patient and are being applied to minimise any delay in the operation of the Mental Health Tribunal Scotland which is responsible for determining certain detentions
Commenced and still in force
Second Scottish Act Section 2, schedule 1, Part 7 – Care Homes See section 7.2.3 Not in operation
Supplementary information provided – see section 7.2.3 for further information
Commenced and still in force
No change to status since last reporting period
Second Scottish Act Section 2, schedule 1, Part 8 - Powers to purchase care home services and care at home providers See section 7.2.4 Not in operation
Supplementary information provided – see section 7.2.4 for further information
Commenced and still in force
No change to status since last reporting period
Second Scottish Act Section 2, schedule 1, Part 9 - Care homes: further provisions See section 7.2.5 In operation
Supplementary information provided – see section 7.2.5 for further information
Commenced and still in force
No change to status since last reporting period
Second Scottish Act Section 2, schedule 1, Part 10 – Marriage and civil partnership See section 7.2.6 In operation
Supplementary information provided – see section 7.2.6 for further information
Commenced and still in force
No change to status since last reporting period
Second Scottish Act Section 3, schedule 2, Part 1 – Criminal justice - Criminal proceedings: extension of time limits Paragraph 1 of schedule 2 makes provision to extend certain statutory time limits contained in the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 relating to criminal proceedings. In operation
Delays in progressing criminal cases as a result of the impact of coronavirus on the court system (in particular, jury trials) continued to remain a significant issue in this period and this provision ensured that there did not need to be a large number of individual hearings to extend time limits on a case-by-case basis, placing further pressure on the courts at a time when their capacity is limited. The Lord President announced on 11 January that as a result of the increasing spread of the new variant of COVID-19 across Scotland, the criminal courts will focus on the most serious trials and the majority of summary trials in the Sheriff Court and Justice of the Peace Court would be adjourned. In doing so, the Lord President was clear in setting business priorities that all criminal jury trials in the High Court and Sheriff Court must continue.
Commenced and still in force
No change to status since last reporting period
Second Scottish Act Section 3, schedule 2 and Part 1 Criminal justice - Arrangements for the custody of persons detained at police stations The provisions under paragraph 2 of schedule 2 allow Scottish Ministers to make arrangements for the transfer and custody of prisoners in police stations in connection with appearances before the court by electronic means, and administrative functions connected with such appearances, to be performed by Prisoner Custody Officers. In operation
These provisions continue to be necessary to support the operation of vital custody hubs across Scotland. As at the end of January 2021, there are nine sites where Prisoner Custody Officers are facilitating the movement of detained persons for their remote appearance for court.
Police Scotland, the Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service and Scottish Prison Service are actively considering how these provisions can further extend the use of new custody hubs to reduce the physical appearance of people within the court estate.
Commenced and still in force
No change to status since last reporting period
Second Scottish Act Section 3, schedule 2, Part 1 Criminal justice - Expiry of undertaking under section 25(2)(a) of the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2016 Paragraph 6 of schedule 2 makes provision which enables the court to prevent the expiry of an undertaking given under section 25(2)(a) of the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2016 by changing the time at which the person who gave it is to appear at court when certain conditions are met. In operation
This provision provides the court with the power to prevent the expiry of an undertaking and any conditions attached to it by changing the time the person is due to appear at court.
By preventing the expiry of undertakings in this way, the measure has allowed COPFS to review the previously extended undertaking timescales, so dates may revert back to within 28 days of liberation, and 14 days for domestic abuse cases.
Retaining this provision will ensure the court continues to have the power to prevent the expiry of an undertaking and any conditions attached to it if a person fails to appear at court as required by the terms of their undertaking, the court considers that the failure to appear is attributable to a reason relating to coronavirus and it is not appropriate to grant a warrant for the person’s arrest.
This enables the preservation of protective conditions of undertaking that may otherwise be lost where a person fails to attend court due to coronavirus and is a key measure to preserve public and victim safety during the coronavirus outbreak, particularly in sensitive cases of domestic abuse.
Commenced and still in force
No change to status since last reporting period
Second Scottish Act Section 3, schedule 2, Part 1 - Criminal justice – Fixed
Penalty Notices under the Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions) (Scotland) Regulations
2020
See section 7.2.7 In operation
Supplementary information provided – see section 7.2.7 for further information
Commenced and still in force
No change to status since last reporting period
Second Scottish Act Section 3, schedule 2, Part 2 – Proceeds of Crime Paragraph 8 inserts a new subsection (4A) in section 99 (confiscation orders: postponement) of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (‘the 2002 Act’). Subsection (4A) specifies that, for the purposes of section 99(4) of the 2002 Act, “exceptional circumstances” includes the effect (whether direct or indirect) of coronavirus on the proceedings.
Paragraph 9 inserts section 116A to the 2002 Act and makes provision for an accused to make application to the court for a further extension of the time to pay a confiscation order where the court accepts that an accused’s inability to pay has been affected (whether directly or indirectly) as a result of coronavirus, and dis-applies the payment of interest on the outstanding amount as set out at section 117 of the 2002 Act.
In operation
The disruption to usual court business is expected to continue, especially given that level 4 measures currently apply to most areas in Scotland. In addition, the Lord President issued a new directive taking effect from 12 January 2021 which has again sought to prioritise only High court cases as well as priority and custody Sheriff Court cases. Application of that direction to confiscation in the Sheriff Court has been patchy resulting in a number of the confiscation cases again being administratively adjourned to later dates. These provisions will help to ensure that the confiscation process is not frustrated due to these delays. The provisions also ensure that individuals are not treated unfairly or disproportionately throughout this period if they have been unable to pay a confiscation order for reasons related to coronavirus.
Commenced and still in force
No change to status since last reporting period
Second Scottish Act Section 3, schedule 2, Part 3 – Intimation, etc. of documents Where there is provision requiring or permitting a document to be displayed on the walls (or any other part) of a court building, or to be made publicly available within a court, that is instead to be done by publication of the document on the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS) website. Paragraph 1A (2) and 1A(3) provides direction making powers for the Lord President - providing latitude for the courts to adjust the operation of the new rule as necessary. This could allow, for example, redaction of sensitive information to account for any issues arising from the potential publication of sensitive data on the SCTS website. In operation
The disruption to usual court access by members of the public is expected to continue. In addition the expansion of remote hearings has further reduced public attendance in court buildings. These provisions help to ensure that documents can continue to be made publically available, as required or permitted by statute. There are no alternatives which would prevent users of the justice system from adhering to rules for physical distancing and minimising contact.
Reverting to placing documents on the walls of court as a means of public display would be irreconcilable with rules for physical distancing and minimising contact.
Commenced and still in force
No change to status since last reporting period
Second Scottish Act Section 4, schedule 3, Part 1 – Reports, etc. under the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 Paragraph 1 of schedule 3 amends the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 in relation to the dates by which; i) a Citizens Assembly on climate change is required to have completed its deliberations and reported to the Scottish Ministers and Scottish Parliament (such that if the Assembly is unable, for a reason relating to coronavirus, to report by 28 February 2021 then it must do so as soon as reasonably practicable after that date), and ii) the Scottish Ministers are required to have established – via regulations - a national Nitrogen Balance Sheet (the deadline is changed to 24 months after the relevant section of the Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Act 2019 came into force, which in practice means by 23 March 2022). Not in operation (expired). Expired as a spent provision
No change to status since last reporting period
Second Scottish Act Section 4, schedule 3, Part 2 – Accounts of registered social landlords Paragraph 2 of schedule 3 amends section 70 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2010. It dis-applies the duty, in respect of the financial year ending 31 March 2020, for Registered Social Landlords to submit audited annual accounts to the Scottish Housing Regulator within six months of the end of the period to which they relate. Instead, they must be provided within nine months of the end of the period to which they relate. In operation for the financial year ending 31 March 2020 only. Expired as a spent provision
No change to status since last reporting period
Second Scottish Act Section 4, schedule 3, Part 3 – Accounts under the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000 This provision makes an amendment to the first Scottish Act to reflect the periods most likely to be affected by the coronavirus outbreak (i.e. financial years 2019/20 and 2020/2021), as part of the response to the accounting timetable disruption caused by the outbreak.
The provision allows by further regulation amendments to the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000 as it applies to accounts that are required under section 19 or 20 of that Act.
In operation Expired as a spent provision
No change to status since last reporting period.
Second Scottish Act Section 4, schedule 3, Part 4 - Housing (Scotland) Act 1987: statement under section 33B Paragraph 4 of schedule 3 amended section 33B(1) of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 (‘the 1987 Act’) to extend, by six months, the deadline for the Scottish Ministers to publish a statement on the circumstances and criteria for exercising their power, in section 33A of the 1987 Act to modify referrals between Scottish Local Authorities on the grounds of local connection. The deadline is now 18 months (by 7 May 2021) rather than 12 months after the coming into force of section 33B(1) (on 7 November 2019.) The provision also gives the Scottish Ministers the power to make regulations to further extend the period by up to an additional six months (by 7 November 2021), on a one-off basis, should this be necessary. Not in operation
(expired)
The regulation making powers have not been used since the provisions came into force.
Expired as a spent provision
No change to status since last reporting period
Second Scottish Act Section 5, schedule 4, Part 1 - UEFA European Championship Part 1 of schedule 4 modifies the UEFA European Championship (Scotland) Act 2020. Not in operation
(expired)
Expired as a spent provision
Second Scottish Act Section 5, schedule 4, Part 2 - Listed buildings and conservation areas: consents Paragraph 2 amends section 16 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 (the ‘1997 Act’) to extend the duration of a listed building consent or a conservation area consent that would otherwise lapse during the emergency period because works authorised by the consent have not begun. The emergency period is the period beginning with the coming into force of these provisions and ending on 6 October 2020. The changes made to section 16 apply to conservation area consent by virtue of section 66(3) of the 1997 Act. Consents to which the provision applies will instead lapse at the end of an extended period (which ends on 6 April 2021) unless works have commenced before the end of the extended period. It enables the Scottish Ministers to make regulations to amend the definition of the emergency and extended periods. In operation
It would be unduly burdensome to request authorities or applicants to report on the individual uses of these powers. Whilst construction sites are permitted to remain open, it may take some time to deal with the backlog of developments. The Scottish Government will continue to liaise with stakeholders as part of the ongoing review of the operation and continued necessity of these provisions.
Commenced and still in force
No change to status since last reporting period.
Second Scottish Act Section 5, schedule 4, Part 3 - Registers kept by the Keeper of the Registers of Scotland Paragraph 3 makes provision for registration or recording in the Register of Inhibitions to proceed on the basis of electronic submission of documents and copies of documents to the Keeper of the Registers. Paragraph 4 makes provision for registration in the Register of Judgments and the issuing of documents to proceed on the basis of electronic submission to and by the Keeper of the Registers of documents and copies of documents. In operation
The portal for the submission of digital applications providing access to the Register of Inhibitions and Register of Judgments is operating successfully. The Keeper of the Registers of Scotland will continue to update Parliament on its operation via the Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee.
Commenced and still in force
No change to status since last reporting period
Second Scottish Act Section 5, schedule 4, Part 4 - Care services: giving of notices by the Care Inspectorate See section 7.2.8 In operation
Supplementary information provided – see section 7.2.8 for further information.
Commenced and still in force
No change to status since last reporting period
Second Scottish Act Section 5, schedule 4, Part 5 - Land and Buildings Transaction Tax: additional amount The second Scottish Act extends to 36 months, for certain transactions, the period within which a previous main residence can be sold and a repayment of the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) Additional Dwelling Supplement (ADS) claimed. It provides a power for the Scottish Ministers to amend, by order, the period of 36 months or the period of transactions to which the Act applies, where the Scottish Ministers are satisfied that this is appropriate for a reason related to coronavirus. Not in operation
(expired)
Expired as a spent provision
No change to status since last reporting period.
Second Scottish Act Section 5, schedule 4, Part 6 – Non-Domestic Rates relief Paragraph 7 amends section 153 of the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act 1994 to allow the Scottish Ministers, during the financial year 2020/21, to make regulations prescribing rules that reduce or remit the amount payable as non-domestic rates. Those rules may reduce or remit the amount either for the whole of that year (including the period prior to the regulations being made), or for such period within that year as is specified in the regulations (including a period beginning prior to the regulations being made).
Paragraph 8 provides that no Non-Domestic Rates are payable in respect of premises used wholly or mainly for production of newspapers and related news platforms. This relief applies on a daily basis, from the day after Royal Assent to the Act. The regulations that are amended provide for such relief to continue until and including 31 March 2021.
Not in operation Expired as spent provision
No change since last reporting period
Second Scottish Act Section 5, schedule 4, Part 7 - Execution of documents, etc. Paragraph 9 of schedule 4 removes the requirement for the physical presence of Scottish notaries public, solicitors and advocates in specific circumstances where an oath, affirmation or declaration is made, or where a document is executed, thus allowing for other methods for the duration of the operation of the second Scottish Act. In operation
Personal attendance to execute documents and administer oaths in person etc. remains difficult as a result of physical distancing, and these provisions require to remain in place.
Commenced and still in force
No change to status since last reporting period
Second Scottish Act Section 5, schedule 4, Part 8 – Freedom of information Paragraph 12 requires the Scottish Ministers to lay reports before Parliament every two months on their responses to Freedom of Information (FOI) requests during the period that Part 2 of schedule 6 of the first Scottish Act is in force. Paragraph 12(2) sets out the information to be included in each report. In operation
Paragraph 12 is in operation and the Scottish Ministers laid their third report to Parliament[27] on 10 December – covering the period 27 September to 26 November. The fourth report is due to be laid in Parliament in February.
Commenced and still in force
No change to status since last reporting period
Second Scottish Act Section 5, schedule 4, Part 9 - Low emission zones Paragraph 13 places a requirement on the Scottish Ministers to lay a report before the Scottish Parliament by 4 December 2020 on progress towards establishing low emission zones under Part 2 of the Transport (Scotland) Act 2019. Report was laid in the Scottish Parliament thus meeting the 4 December 2020 deadline. The report highlighted the progress towards establishing low emission zones and is expected to be published on the Transport Scotland website shortly. Expired as a spent provision
(this action has now been completed)
Second Scottish Act Section 5, schedule 4, Part 10 - Council Tax: exempt dwellings Paragraph 14 creates an exemption from paying Council Tax for those properties that were occupied by one of the groups of individuals listed at paragraphs 10 and 12 of schedule 1 of the Council Tax (Exempt Dwellings) (Scotland) Order 1997, and which are unoccupied on or after 17 March 2020 for a reason relating to coronavirus. This exemption applies until the property is occupied or the second Scottish Act ceases to be in force. There is no central data collected on the extent of use of this provision, and there are no plans to collate information of this nature. The provision is proportionate and the status at this time of commenced and still in force is appropriate. Commenced and still in force
No change to status since last reporting period
Second Scottish Act Section 5, schedule 4, Part 11 - Traffic Regulation Paragraph 15 of schedule 4 has the effect of extending the maximum duration of Temporary Traffic Regulation Orders (TTROs) made under section 14 of the Road Traffic Act 1984 (the ‘1984 Act’) which can restrict or prohibit the use of certain types of roads, from 6 months to 18 months. Those roads are existing footpath, bridleway, cycle track or byway open to all vehicles. The maximum duration of TTROs on all other roads is unchanged and remains 18 months (see section 15(1) (b) of the 1984 Act). It also substitutes a reference to the 6 month time limit with a reference to 18 months in section 15(3) of the 1984 Act which deals with the power of the national authority (the Scottish Ministers) to direct that a TTRO may continue in force for a further period. In operation
It would be disproportionate to request traffic authorities to report on the individual uses of this power and therefore information on the extent of use of the provision is not held at this time. The traffic authorities this provision will be most relevant to are Local Authorities who are at the core of the coronavirus response and many of their services are under significant pressure. Local Authorities continue to indicate that they need flexibility in their options for regulating the use of the various types of roads in their areas due to the ongoing need for physical distancing and increased active travel. For this reason, the status of the provision in this reporting period is appropriate.
Commenced and still in force
No change to status since last reporting period
Second Scottish Act Section 5, schedule 4, Part 12 - Restriction on giving grant to businesses connected to tax havens Schedule 4, Part 12 introduces new conditions in relation to tax havens that must be met before the Scottish Ministers, or any public body administering grants on their behalf, may make a coronavirus-related grant to a company. The Scottish Ministers are required to take steps to satisfy themselves that the conditions are met. A coronavirus-related grant may not be made if the conditions are not met and if, after a grant has been made, it is established that the conditions were not in fact met, the grant will be immediately repayable by the grantee. The conditions that must be met are that the grantee company must not be based in a tax haven, the subsidiary of a company based in a tax haven, the parent company of a subsidiary based in a tax haven nor party to an arrangement under which any of its profits are subject to the tax regime of a tax haven. In operation
List of tax havens has not been amended since last reporting period. The list was last updated on 6 October 2020, when Anguilla and Barbados were added to the list, and Cayman Islands and Oman were removed.
Commenced and still in force
No change to status since last reporting period.
UK Act Section 2 - Emergency registration of nurses and other healthcare professionals Section 2 introduces schedule 1 which modifies the Nursing and Midwifery Order 2001, and the Health Professions Order 2001, to permit the independent statutory regulators, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) to add people they consider to be “fit and proper and suitably experienced” to an emergency temporary professional register for the duration of a public health emergency as declared by the Secretary of State. In operation
Both temporary registers under the UK Act have been in operation continuously since the onset of the pandemic. They are still required to bolster capacity in responding to the resurgence of the new variant of the coronavirus.
Commenced and still in force
The scope of the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s temporary register was rolled back as the first wave declined, but has been extended again to students. Though this is a UK-wide measure, the Scottish Government does not propose that students in Scotland will be employed by Boards under temporary registration during this phase.
UK Act Section 4 and schedule 3 – Emergency arrangements concerning medical practitioners: Scotland Section 4 introduces schedule 3 which makes temporary modifications to the National Health Service (Primary Medical Services Performers Lists) (Scotland) Regulations 2004 and creates a limited exception to the requirement that NHS GPs must be accepted on a register with their local Health Board (called a “performers list”) before beginning to practice in any GP surgery which provides NHS care in that Health Board’s area. In operation
The use of the powers is largely an administrative process and it is for Health Boards to decide whether GPs can perform whilst their application is pending. As such there is no central oversight of the extent of the use of the powers in the reporting period. The provisions continue to be required due to the continuous risk that Health Boards will be subject to staff shortages which could delay the standard processes around the performers list. Powers to further modify the application process by regulations have not been used.
Commenced and still in force
No change to status since last reporting period
UK Act Section 7 and schedule 6 - Temporary registration of social workers: Scotland The provision increases the available social work workforce during the pandemic by inviting those on a career break, recently retired and final year students to join the register and return to/join frontline services. In operation
A direction was made by Scottish Ministers on 30 March 2020 (under section 46C(1) of the Regulation of Care (Scotland) Act 2001) - directing the Scottish Social Services Council to consider applications for registration as a temporary social worker in accordance with section 46D of the Regulation of Care (Scotland) Act 2001.
The temporary social work register has been established and over 200 registrants are available to be deployed to frontline services. Details have been shared with Local Authorities in order that they can access registrants should they need to recruit additional social workers.
An increase in demand for all social work services was expected and therefore the temporary social work register continues to be necessary. As winter continues and issues are possible in terms of workforce supply the Temporary register continues to be necessary.
Commenced and still in force
No change in status since last reporting period
UK Act Section 10 and schedule 9 - Temporary modification of mental health legislation See section 7.3.1 Not in operation
Supplementary information provided – see section 7.3.1 for further information
Not yet commenced
No change to status since last reporting period
UK Act Section 12 - Indemnity for health services activity: Scotland The provision grants Scottish Ministers the discretionary power to make indemnity arrangements for any person who is working within the NHS in Scotland, where the indemnity relates to coronavirus. Not in operation
Scottish Ministers issued a direction[28] on 7 April 2020 under existing powers (the NHS (Scotland) Act 1978) to Health Boards to indemnify staff engaged in the coronavirus response. As directions were made under existing powers in the first reporting period, the provisions around indemnity arrangements under section 12 of the UK Act have not had to be used by Health Boards in this reporting period.
Commenced and still in force
No change to status since last reporting period
UK Act Section 16 -Duty of Local Authority to assess needs: Scotland, and section 17 – section 16: further provision See section 7.3.2 Supplementary information provided – see section 7.3.2 for further information Commenced
Still in force for children’s services.
Suspended for adult services.
Section 16 was suspended in respect of adult services from 30 November
(The Coronavirus Act 2020 (Suspension: Adult Social Care) (Scotland) Regulations 2020 (SSI 2020/377)).
UK Act Section 18 and schedule 13 - Registration of deaths and still-births etc. Section 18 introduces schedule 13 which contains temporary modifications relating to the registration of deaths and still-births across the UK. Part 2 of schedule 13 relates to Scotland. In operation
The provisions have continued to operate successfully in this reporting period, facilitating remote registration of deaths and still-births to the same standard of accuracy as in-person registration but without unnecessary exposure to coronavirus, and given the efficiency of the process, to enable Local Authorities to better address other remaining registration priorities such as birth and marriage/civil partnership.
Commenced and still in force
No change to status since last reporting period
UK Act Section 20 and schedule 14 – Review of Medical Certificate of Cause of Death and cremation: Scotland Provisions under Part 1 enable Scottish Ministers to suspend the review of randomly selected Medical Certificates of Cause of Death by the Death Certification Review Service (DCRS) and pause interested persons reviews under the Certification of Death (Scotland) Act 2011.
Provisions under Part 2 give Scottish Ministers the power to dis-apply the offence under section 49 of the Burial and Cremation (Scotland) Act 2016, insofar as it relates to the signing of an application for cremation. It also enables Scottish Ministers to suspend sections 53-55 of the Burial and Cremation (Scotland) Act 2016 and relevant associated provisions of the Cremation (Scotland) Regulations 2019.
Part 1 – not in operation. Use of the power that was in operation for part of the first reporting period was revoked by direction[29] on 11 May 2020. Although the power has not been used in the reporting period, the provision is judged to continue to be necessary in order to ensure that the option to suspend again is available, should this be required.
Rather than full suspension, Ministers can choose to reduce the percentage of random reviews to be undertaken, as a temporary measure. This is by agreement and does not require legislative change. Parliament are notified via a letter to the Health and Sport Committee
Part 2 – in operation. In the first reporting period, Scottish Ministers made two determinations[30] (on 8 April 2020) which suspended certain provisions within the Burial and Cremation (Scotland) Act 2016 and the Cremation (Scotland) Regulations 2019. There has been no change to status since last reporting period.
Commenced and still in force
No change to status since last reporting period
UK Act Section 22 - Appointment of temporary Judicial Commissioners The provision relates to the appointment of Judicial Commissioners under the Investigatory Powers Act 2016. Judicial Commissioners are appointed by the Prime Minister, following consultation with Scottish Ministers. The purpose of this provision is to allow the Secretary of State to make regulations allowing the Investigatory Powers Commissioner to appoint temporary commissioners for a 6 month period, renewable to 12 months. In operation
The Investigatory Powers (Temporary Judicial Commissioners and Modification of Time Limits) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/360) [31]came into force on 27 March 2020.
The provision is in operation and it continued to be necessary in this reporting period.
The appointment of Temporary Judicial Commissioners has ensured that warrants needed by intelligence and law enforcement agencies continued to be considered. The temporary judicial commissioners are no longer in post, but the need for this provision will be kept under review by the independent Investigatory Powers Commissioner.
Commenced and still in force
No change to status since last reporting period
UK Act Section 23 - Time limits in relation to urgent warrants under Investigatory Powers Act The provision relates to time period for urgent warrants under the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 and gives the Secretary of State the power to make provision by regulations which extend the time periods applying to urgent warrants, should this be necessary given the impact that coronavirus is having, or is likely to have on the capacity of Judicial Commissioners to carry out their functions. In operation
The Investigatory Powers (Temporary Judicial Commissioners and Modification of Time Limits) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/360) came into force on 27 March 2020[32].
The provision is in use and has continued to be necessary in this reporting period. The variation to the urgent warrant procedure has ensured that intelligence and law enforcement agencies have the flexibility they need to protect national security and prevent serious crime. The need for this provision will be kept under review by the independent Investigatory Powers Commissioner.
Commenced and still in force
No change to status since last reporting period
UK Act Sections 25 to 29 and schedule 15- Food supply These provisions empower Scottish Ministers, by regulation, to require those involved in a food supply chain to provide information to help determine whether there is disruption (or risk thereof) to the supply chain. The provisions also provide enforcement powers and impose restrictions on the use of information. Not in operation
The provisions continue to be required, to hold in reserve, in the event that voluntary provision of information by food supply chain participants breaks down. The voluntary provision of information continues to work well.
Not yet commenced
No change to status since last reporting period
UK Act Sections 34 and 35 - Temporary disapplication of disclosure offences: Scotland and Power to reclassify certain disclosure requests: Scotland See section 7.3.3 Not in operation
Supplementary information provided – section 7.3.3 for further information
Commenced and still in force
No change to status since last reporting period
UK Act Section 36 - Vaccination and immunisation: Scotland The provisions amend section 40 of the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1978. The requirement in that section, that vaccinations and immunisations be administered by medical practitioners or persons acting under their direction and control, is removed. In operation
In the first reporting period (on 7 April 2020), Scottish Ministers made directions[33] under section 2(5) of the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1978, to support vaccination delivery by GP practices where they are affected by coronavirus. The provisions have continued to be in operation in this reporting period.
Commenced and still in force
No change to status since last reporting period
UK Act Section 37 and Part 2 of schedule 16 and section 38 and Part 2 of schedule 17 - temporary closure of educational institutions and childcare premises, and temporary continuity: education, training and childcare See section 7.3.4 In operation
Three directions have been issued during the reporting period – see 7.3.4.1 below
Commenced and still in force
No change to status since last reporting period
UK Act Section 46 - NHS pension schemes: suspension of restrictions on return to work: Scotland The provision suspends pension scheme rules which prevent retired NHS staff from returning to work for more than 16 hours per week and require that some staff’s pensions are abated upon return to work. It also suspends the requirement that NHS staff reduce their pay by 10% if they elect to ‘draw down’ their benefits and continue working. In operation
The suspension of pension scheme rules has allowed former NHS staff to return to frontline NHS roles, including supporting the vaccination programme, adding vital capacity to the NHS workforce. The measures allow skilled and experienced staff who have recently retired from the NHS to return to work, and they have also allowed retired staff who have already returned to work to increase their commitments if required, without having their pension benefits suspended.
Commenced and still in force
No change to status since last reporting period
UK Act Section 49 and schedule 19 - Health Protection Regulations: Scotland See section 7.3.5 In operation
Supplementary information provided – see section 7.3.5 for further information
Commenced and still in force
No change to status since last reporting period
UK Act Section 51 and Part 3 of schedule 21 - Powers relating to potentially infectious persons See section 7.3.6 Schedule 21 powers were “switched on” by way of statutory declaration in March 2020, however the powers have not been used in this reporting period.
Supplementary information provided – see section 7.3.6 for further information
Commenced and still in force
No change to status since last reporting period
UK Act Section 52 and Part 3 of schedule 22 - Powers to issue directions relating to events, gatherings and premises See section 7.3.7 Schedule 22 powers were “switched on” by way of statutory declaration in March 2020, however the powers have not been used in this reporting period.
Supplementary information provided – see section 7.3.7 for further information
Commenced and still in force
No change since last reporting period
UK Act Section 58 and schedule 28 – Powers in relation to transportation, storage and disposal of dead bodies etc. Section 58 and schedule 28 contain powers relating to the transportation, storage and disposal of dead bodies and other human remains. If advice indicates that the number of people who might die from coronavirus is likely to significantly exceed the capacity to locally or nationally manage the deceased, designated Local Authorities and Scottish Ministers have the ability to take control of a component or components of the death management process. Not in operation
Although the powers have not been used in the reporting period, the provision is judged to continue to be necessary in order to ensure that the powers can be used in future if needed and in particular to ensure the ability to respond to particular pressures in a specific Local Authority area should these emerge at any point. With the resurgence of the virus, the provisions should continue to be available. The Scottish Government has discussed this with the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives (SOLACE) and it has endorsed the Government’s approach.
Commenced and still in force
No change since last reporting period
UK Act Sections 69 and 70 - Postponement of elections: Scotland The provisions enable Returning Officers and the Presiding Officer to respectively postpone local government by-elections and by-elections for constituency seats to the Scottish Parliament. Section 69 – not in operation
The provision will only be relevant if a vacancy for a Scottish Parliament constituency seat occurs during the period of the provision being in force.
Section 70 – in operation
In the fifth reporting period the provision was used once to postpone a local government by-election. The provision has been used a total of 20 times to postpone 13 by-elections.
Commenced and still in force
No change to the status since last reporting period
UK Act Section 75 - Financial assistance for industry (disapplication of limit under section 8 of the Industrial Development Act 1982) This provision provides that financial assistance provided under section 8 of the Industrial Development Act 1982 is not to count towards the limits set out in the subsection of section 8, if the assistance has been given in relation to the coronavirus. In operation
This provision has elements of both reserved and devolved competence. As set out within section 75(3) of the UK Act, there are alternative reporting requirements in place for this provision, however these only relate to designated assistance provided by the Secretary of State, it does not cover assistance provided by the Scottish Ministers or Welsh Ministers.
The Scottish Government continues to consider how devolved elements of this provision might aid industry in ever changing circumstances, including as part of covid recovery. Ministers consider it appropriate that provision which might provide a source of support should not be prematurely expired. It is therefore
proportionate and appropriate that this provision remains commenced
and still in force, although not operational in this reporting period.
Commenced and still in force
No change to status since last reporting period

Contact

Email: Covid.Leg@gov.scot